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THE SEASONS AND CLIMATE OF NEW ZEALAND.
IN explaining to our fellow colonists how to manage the KITCHEN GARDEN, we will confine our remarks to plain practical instruction.
In the first part, as to the character of soils; the arrangement and the rotation of crops; the quantity of seed required; and the proper manure for a Kitchen Garden: and then, as to the uses; the time of sowing or planting; the proper soil and manure; and how to cultivate nearly all the plants used in domestic economy--arranging them into classes, thus, as the cabbage, pea, potato, spinach, onion, asparagus, salads, herbs for garnishing, and plants for tarts, preserves, pickles, medicines, &c.
At starting, then, let us observe, that to understand the nature of the soil is about the first duty of the gardener; for without this, it must be all chance work with him. There can be nothing certain in any of his operations; for, as one writer says, "he may receive plants or seeds from the Cape of Good Hope, described as having been growing in a silicious soil--from Tasmania, as having been produced on an argillaceous soil--from Canada, in a peaty soil--from somewhere else, in calcareous soil; and so on." We would advise everyone engaged in the management of either a farm or garden, to make himself qualified to understand this.
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Although it does not belong to the Kitchen Garden, we will as shortly as possible give a description of the principal soils, or rather, what they contain. Thus, CLAY exists in all good fertile soils: the absence of it makes it too dry and porous; as for example, the volcanic soils of Mount Eden, &c.; and too much clay makes a wet and cold soil, unwholesome alike to all vegetation: but clay soils are more uniform in temperature, and, when properly managed, generally yield the heaviest and most abundant crops. SAND, or silica, absorbs heat from the sun, and is therefore better adapted than clay for early crops; it can be worked easier and at any season, but never gives such heavy crops, and is very hungry, requiring a greater quantity of manure and oftener. LIMEY, or calcareous soils, when mixed with clay, are very difficult to work, and the crops are longer in coming to maturity. Loamy soils are generally dry, absorb, retain, and give off moisture in the sufficient quantity suitable for the growth of plants; contain a large quantity of decomposed vegetable matter--so that, if all soils have the property of clay and sand, a considerable admixture of decomposed vegetable matter converts them into loam, hence it is possible for a gardener to convert any earthy soil into a loam, as may be seen in the neighbourhoods of large English towns. These soils are the most valuable, and in quantity greatly predominate. GRAVELLY soils are generally more open and porous, giving off moisture quicker; but in dry seasons are apt to get burnt up. For a garden, it is very good for early as well as for winter crops. PEATY, or mossy soils are of vegetable origin, and very good for mixing with garden soils. Thus, potatoes and carrots prefer a mixture of peaty soil, while fruit trees do not succeed where peat predominates.
It will be seen then that the best soil for a garden is a mixture of strong clay and light sandy soil, which should never be less than three feet deep, properly drained and trenched, with the subsoil loosened. This makes the ground warmer and the crops to ripen earlier and be more abundant. The subsoil is very seldom taken into account in selecting ground
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HOW TO LAY OUT A KITCHEN GARDEN.
for a garden, but very much depends on it. Thus, a clay subsoil makes the surface cold and wet; a gravelly subsoil makes the surface dry and warm. The remedy, of course, is thorough draining.
To know the nature of an ordinary soil, take a small quantity, say an ounce of soil, put it in a bottle with a pint of pure water; shake it well, and then let it settle, and pour off the top part, which is clay, the bottom portion being sand; now dry the two, and weigh them. Then if 100 parts of dry soil, not peaty or unusually rich in vegetable matter, leave not more than 10 parts of clay, it is called a sandy soil; if from 10 to 40, a sandy loam; if from 40 to 70, a loamy soil; if from 70 to 85, a clay loam; from 85 to 95, a strong clay soil; and when no sand is separated at all by the process, it is a pure agricultural clay and not suitable for a garden.
HOW TO LAY OUT A KITCHEN GARDEN, ETC.
In laying out the Kitchen Garden we would have no outbuildings within, at the very least, forty feet of the dwelling-house, and as much farther as space will admit of. If the ground is broken or sloping, they ought to be placed a few feet below the level of the house, so as to allow of a good incline for the main drain from the house towards them. Good draining tiles, nine inches in diameter, with a fall of one in fifteen feet from the kitchen through the out-buildings, at a depth of eighteen inches or two feet, will form an efficient drain, and should be led into a tank or large water-butt sunk in the ground, where the drainage would always be available for use in the garden, or for saturating a manure heap. Stables, cowsheds, piggeries, fowl-houses, &c., may form one side of the kitchen garden, both saving fencing and being convenient for supplying manure to the garden; it will also prove handy for feeding cattle or pigs with the surplus produce of the land. Three things must be borne in mind in forming a kitchen garden: shelter from the south-west winds, convenience, and soil. Shelter, if not naturally formed, can be produced by planting a belt of trees, from ten to fifteen
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feet wide, along the outside of the garden fence. These, if planted within five or six feet of one another, would make an excellent breakwind in a few years, as they shelter each other when planted closely, and help to draw one another up. This will prove the most rapid plan of raising a shelter, and after a time the more quick-growing and worthless plants can he removed to make room for others more slow in growth, but valuable as timber trees.
If the ground will admit of it, lay your garden out as a parallelogram or a square, these two forms being undeniably the most economical. The allotment of too much space is the greatest and commonest mistake of all; in this way people very frequently go beyond what they require, and still more beyond what they can cultivate. It is better to err on the safe side, and have rather less than more ground than you can manage under cultivation. A quarter of an acre is enough to supply the wants of a family of moderate size with vegetables all the year round, and even less might be made to suffice for this purpose. The reason that a square or oblong piece of land is so convenient for a garden is, that it can be laid out in four quarters, with a border ten or twelve feet wide round the sides; a space of four feet for a walk can then be left, and the square afterwards cut through the centre by two four feet walks, thus giving you four square beds within the outside walk.
Presuming the ground to be drained and trenched, the crops can be put in in their seasons: the walks may be partially edged with parsley, thyme, strawberry plants, &c.: gooseberry trees may be planted in rows, three feet from the walk and six feet from plant to plant. Permanent crops are such as will occupy the same space for more than two years, such as asparagus, seakale, rhubarb, strawberries, and horseradish.
We have a great objection to many fruit trees being planted in a kitchen garden: a few dwarf trees from three to four feet from the walks, would not be open to much objection, such as pear or plum trees; but vegetables never grow well under
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FRUIT TREES IN THE KITCHEN GARDEN.
the shadow of trees. The better plan would be to portion off a part of the ground and devote it entirely to fruit trees, for when planted through the garden, the roots draw all the nutriment in the ground from the minor crops, and interfere materially with the planting and raising of the crops. Nor can the trees themselves be expected to thrive, as the digging of the laNd destroys all the small fibrous roots formed during the previous season, and prevents the sunlight and air penetrating to the trees, so causing the roots to penetrate downwards into a cold and ungenial stratum of clay or other earth unfavourable to growth. When this is the case, the trees no longer remain in a healthy fruit-bearing condition: decay begins both in root and branch, the leaves assume a lighter colour, and appear to contain less substance, the points of the new shoots decay after the leaves fall; mess grows on the bark and scale on the stem; and if the tree is taken up, you will find the roots few and penetrating deeply, but also decayed. A tree may blossom and put forth leaves, but it will not bring any quantity of fruit to maturity if its roots are decayed, although it may survive in an unhealthy state for many years. Trees in this state ought to be taken up; all decayed wood, both from root and branch, cut away; and the tree re-planted in finely-prepared soil, with the roots not deeper than the ordinary ground level, and the earth well moulded up around them. They will make but little wood during the first year, but the second season will produce fine clean wood, and in the third bear fruit. This shows the necessity for draining and trenching the ground preparatory to planting fruit trees. A small piece of ground, well prepared, will probably yield a larger return than thrice the ground prepared upon the common careless principle, namely, that of digging a hole about a foot deep and as much in diameter, when, if the subsoil happens to be clay of an impenetrable character, you might as well plant trees in a basin. The heavy winter rains fill such holes level with the surface, the soil becomes poisoned with stagnant water, and the trees perish for want of congenial soil in which to grow. The young
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trees putting forth a few leaves in the spring of a pale green colour, and forming a few feeble shoots during the summer, is no proof that they are likely to survive more than one year or so: that such is actually the case may be seen daily.
That the out-buildings should be made to form part of the kitchen garden fence is important in another respect, as their walls will be exceedingly useful for training vines upon, and large quantities of fine grapes may be grown upon walls or fences from twelve to fifteen feet in height. In case buildings are used for this purpose, a gutter along the eaves will be necessary to carry off surplus water which would be injurious to the plants. But the greatest advantage of all is having the manure close to the garden. In the course of a year the saving by this means is very considerable indeed in the item of labour; and gardening, moreover, never will pay without plentiful manuring. Be careful to eradicate weeds in the kitchen garden as soon as they spring up, as nothing tends more to impoverish the soil at the expense of the main crops.
OF SEEDS, AND THE ARRANGEMENT OF CROPS, ETC.
In ordering seeds or plants to begin gardening with, a very good plan would be to say what seeds or plants you require, and also the extent of your ground, and as these are always in New Zealand, ordered from a practical gardener, the proper quantities may be procured without more trouble. But where this is not practicable--we will suppose you have an acre of ground--you will order something like the following quantities:--Peas, 36 quarts; garden beans, 10 quarts; kidney beans, 4 quarts; scarlet runners, 2 quarts; cabbage of early sorts, 8 ounces; savoys, 4 ounces; Brussels sprouts 3 ounces; cauliflower, 4 ounces; brocoli of sorts, 8 ounces; borecole, 4 ounces; red cabbage, 2 ounces; onions, 12 ounces; carrots, 8 ounces; turnips, white sorts, 16 ounces; yellow turnips, 2 ounces; leeks, 4 ounces; parsnips, 4 ounces; salsify, 2 ounces; scorzonera, 2 ounces; endive, 4 ounces; lettuce, 4 ounces; radish, 3 pints; mustard, 1 1/2 quarts, and cress the same; parsley, 4 ounces; early potatoes, 2 bushels;
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ON CHANGING CROPS.
late potatoes, 3 bushels; Jerusalem artichokes, 20 pounds; garlic, half a pound; and shallots, 2 pounds. But these quantities may be modified, as a garden of five, ten, or twenty acres will not require five, ten, or twenty times the quantities given for one acre; but a less quantity of ground will just require a proportionate less quantity of seed. It is said that garden seeds do not require to be quite new, that seeds of one, two, or three years old, mixed together, will be found preferable, as they will not all come up at once, and thus, at one sowing, you have a successional crop; but we believe the secret of old seed being preferred by some is, that if perfectly fresh the extra moisture will have left them, and as in bulbs and roots, after a period of rest they are more vigorous, so with vegetable seeds. Then, with regard to changing the crop from one part of the garden to another, plants deteriorate considerably if cultivated for a number of seasons on one spot. Dr. Lindley says, to prove this put a plant of succory in water it will be found that the roots will by degrees render the water bitter, as if opium had been mixed with it. Euphorbia will render it acrid, and a leguminous plant, mucilaginous; but if you poison one half of the roots of any plant, the other half will throw the poison off again from the system, hence it follows that if roots are so circumstanced that they cannot constantly advance into fresh soil, they will by degrees be surrounded by their own excrementitious secretions.
It is also curious, says another writer, that the poisonous substances which are fatal to man are equally so to plants, and in nearly the same way, so that presenting opium or arsenic, or any metallic or alkaline poison to the roots of a tree it may be destroyed as readily as a human being. Therefore cropping the ground with the same species of plants from year to year, or planting a fruit tree in the same situation and soil from which another had been removed, is sure to be attended with failure, as it reduces the fertility of the soil. This is also proved from the fact that one crop after another of a different kind does not materially reduce the condition of the soil. Though all crops derive food from the
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soil, one kind appropriates food in a different degree from another, and even the same crop takes food in different quantities according to the state its product is allowed to proceed, thus plants which ripen their seed as cabbage, turnips, &c., when the ostensible object is to produce seed, act more strongly on the soil than those which are grown simply for their leaves or bulbs only, as spinach, beet, &c., therefore allow no plant to shoot up into flower, much less to seed in the spring.
The effect of fallowing, deep digging, ridging, and trenching sweetens the soil as the excrementitious matter is washed out by the rain that is admitted to percolate through the loosened soil, and the ammonia and other fertilizing ingredients brought down by the rains are retained, as those only held in excess are carried away.
The want of this changing of crops is soon seen in the case of the cabbage tribe, the insects injurious to them deposit their eggs in the soil, and what is very natural if the crop is not changed or the soil so loosened as above directed, the succeeding crop is sure to suffer, whereas if a different crop is substituted the food is not the sort the insect requires, and it is starved out. One of the marked advantages of alternate culture is the periodical cultivation of plants which improve the soil, it is thus we make compensation for exhaustion. The rotation of crops is therefore THE system that enables the husbandman to attain the greatest amount of vegetable production with the least manure and in the shortest possible time, the principal crops to change with should be those that draw largely from the atmosphere.
The crops that belong to the same natural order, or resemble each other in their structure or habits, should not be cultivated on the same soil after each other, the cabbage kale, or turnip tribe should be followed by peas, beans, and others of the leguminous order and the reverse; and deep, rooted plants as beet, carrot, parsnip, &c., should be followed by such as spinach, lettuce, &c., and the reverse; then plants which have been grown for their fruit, such as seed cabbage,
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DIGGING THE SOIL, EQUAL TO MANURE.
and even peas, beans, kidney beans, even although they do not fully ripen their seed will take from the soil more than cabbage, celery, or spinach, plants which are grown for their leaves only.
Perennial plants, such as seakale, asparagus, globe artichoke, &c., should never succeed each other, but should be succeeded by such as onions, leeks, or other annual crops of short duration, in short two exhausting crops should not succeed each other.
We find that nature is constantly adding or restoring to the soil nearly all the valuable supplies required to feed each particular crop as it is required, but this is not done without the aid of man, for the ground must be dug, drained, and pulverised so as to allow the moisture, the dew, and rains to percolate freely and yet retain the valuable ingredients brought down by them. Many good practical farmers and market-gardeners have proved this fact, that if half the value of the manure given each season to the ground was spent in trenching and properly loosening the soil, and keeping it open, the advantage would soon show itself, and we are of opinion that there are very few people who are not aware of this, and yet how few take advantage of the knowledge to derive benefit from it. We have mentioned this fact to several farmers in this province, but the invariable answer was--there is no encouragement, and yet so valuable is the above fact, that, if the ground is kept open, the very plants will return a very great quantity of manure in their leaves, and in the carbonic acid decomposed by their leaves, which they absorb from the atmosphere liberating the oxygen, and making use of the carbon. They get nitrogen to form their albuminous constituents from the volatile carbonate and nitrate of ammonia, and these they return to the soil when they are buried in it. Thus, out of a crop of cauliflower not one fourth of the bulk is useable, hence, if the three-fourths were immediately dug into the ground on which they were produced, they would return to it nearly as much as they had taken from it during their growth,
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We dwell longer upon this subject because some of our farmers expect that the soils of this colony, being new, should not be soon exhausted, and others who are of opinion that the land, even the very best we have, will not produce a sufficient crop without manure. We wish to show that in general the land is of fair average quality, and that there are other things required to make it produce good crops. It is, in fact, bad management that exhausts the soil, and one of the worst features of this is taking the whole vegetable produce off the ground, and either not returning it at all, or doing so after it has been exposed to the rain and atmosphere till it has lost all its fertilizing properties. It is generally understood that nearly all the nourishment required by a plant is derived from the soil, but Professor Lindley says that "plants derive more nourishment from the leaves than from the roots," and Professor Johnston says that the leaves spread out their broad surface into the air for the same purpose as that for which the roots diffuse their fibres through the soil, the only difference being that while the roots suck in chiefly liquid, the leaves inhale almost gaseous food, we infer, therefore, that pulverising and trenching is just a rotation of crops, or will answer the same purpose, and as we make no distinction between farming and gardening in the management of the soil, these remarks apply equally to the farm and garden.
The rotation of crops in a garden is an important element in good management, and there are two systems in practice in England, the successional, and the simultaneous, in the first you cover each piece of ground with only one species of crop at the same time, in the second you have several. The first presents the greatest appearance of order and system, and hence is most generally followed in private gardens, while the latter, though not to appearance so systematic, is to a great extent more so, and is the plan followed by parties who cultivate near large towns; for example, they will sow with a crop of onions, a thin crop of radish, lettuce, and sometimes a few carrots. The two former
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CROPPING AND TRANSPLANTING.
are removed early for use, leaving the onions to ripen off afterwards, thus giving them more room as they increase in size, the carrots by sending down their roots to a greater depth find for themselves their appropriate ford, while the onion derives part of its favourite nourishment from the surface, and it is said that carrots grown thus, escape the grub. Simultaneous cropping is also carried on when the drill system is followed.
The ground being thus stocked, tall growing plants, as peas, Jerusalem artichokes, scarlet runners, &c., which attain a height of from six to ten feet, may be planted or sown at distances of twenty or thirty feet apart; garden beans or dwarf peas may be grown between them, and at a proper distance between these again, cabbage, spinach, &c., may be planted or sown, thus giving to each a full share of light and air. Another advantage of simultaneous cropping, and we have done, is that crops will be progressing in different, stages of growth, and as the advanced crop is cleared off the next in order will supply its place; or, when one crop is removed, another of a different kind may be immediately planted.
Successional cropping is best suited for poor soils, and for gardens when there is a difficulty of procuring manure, and also when the garden is small. The other plan cannot well be carried out unless the soil is in the highest possible state of cultivation.
The next important matter connected with the Kitchen Garden is transplanting, thus, cabbage sprouts, savoys, cauliflower, &c., are very much improved by removing them from the seed bed once or twice before their final planting out, it increases the formation of extra roots, and enables you to reject badly formed plants, and select those best suited for your purpose. The pea and bean are improved; spinach, cress, and mustard must not be removed, but lettuce and endive admit of it freely, grow them in small seed beds, and when fit for removal, they may succeed other props. Onions and leeks are improved by removal; potatoes
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transplant freely if the roots are preserved; it is evident, therefore, that if this branch of culture is properly attended to, about twice as much may be grown from the same ground, because the whole ground would then be in use; take care, then, in removing plants to preserve the small fibres and the extreme points called spongiolets; do not remove the foliage unless such parts as may be bruised or have been accidentally broken. But we must also observe that the soil requires a change of manures equally with a change of crop, and no other manures will bear constant repetition but that originally provided by nature--decayed vegetable matter, and thus it is that liquid manure is the most advantageous form in which fertilizers can be applied by the gardener to his crops, it is the most economical, prompt, and efficient.
The manure is presented to the roots in one of the only forms roots can imbibe food, and the manure goes regularly through the texture of the soil. House sewage should be nothing but the drainage from the water-closet, kitchen sink, and chamber slops, and this may be applied diluted with water to all growing crops, plants, and trees, except those in pots, about a pail-full to six square yards is a good allowance to cabbages, asparagus, leeks, and all such like crops, and to potted plants, one bucket of sewage to three of water is a good proportion, for it is better to apply it weak and often, than strong and seldom. In winter, when your crops do not require its application, you may pour the sewage over the vacant plots in the Kitchen Garden, over the asparagus, seakale, and rhubarb beds, and among the trees and shrubs in plantations and borders. The sewage should be applied to crops whilst they are growing, say once or twice a-week, oftener in dry weather than wet. To ornamental plants, once a week is quite enough, and to fruit trees, once a month. When guano liquid manure is applied to plants, not more than five ounces to ten gallons of water should be used; sheep-dung, a peck to thirty gallons of water.
Lime is also a valuable fertilizer, it improves the texture of clay lands by loosening and rendering it more friable and
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THE BEST MANURES FOR A GARDEN.
easier worked; it makes a heavier and better crop of wheat and oats; to light lands it makes the white and green crops more luxuriant and sweeter by its application; it also keeps the land clean and assists in destroying couch grass. Lime builds up the structure of the plant, sweetens sour soils dissolves and decomposes vegetable matter: only keep the lime near the surface, it will be serviceable in destroying grubs, slugs, &c.
Bone manure should be applied in small pieces or in powder; and ten pounds, at the time of inserting the seed, will be enough for thirty square yards, if sown broadcast; but a much smaller quantity is required if sprinkled along the drills in which the seed is sown; or, mixed with sulphur and drilled in with the turnip seed it will preserve the young plants from the fly. It is good for stone fruit at the time of planting, and it is also good for the vine: to the lawn when the grass becomes thin. To the shrubbery, parterre, and greenhouse it is most valuable; as also for potted plants. It promotes the beauty and luxuriance of flowers; as a top dressing for onions, with half its weight of charcoal dust, nine pounds to the square rod; this is also good for all kitchen stuffs.
THE PRINCIPAL PLANTS GROWN IN A KITCHEN GARDEN--
HOW TO MANAGE THEM IN NEW ZEALAND.
The Cabbage is, in a variety of forms, used throughout the civilized world, but to boil them green seems a difficult matter; yet if they are gathered fresh and put into boiling water with a small quantity of soda, and allowed to boil in plenty of water, leaving the vessel uncovered, they will not change colour. All kinds are raised from seed annually, the main sowing in June for planting out in September; and sow every six weeks afterwards for succession. For such varieties as early York, 2 oz. will be sufficient for a bed 4 by 20 feet; and for the larger sorts, sugar-loaf, &c., 2 oz. will sow 4 by 36 feet--observe, that one ounce of seed will give from 2,000
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to 2,500 plants. Cover the seed from one eighth to a quarter of an inch. There is a dnger of the early sown running to seed, therefore it is best to sow a small quantity and make two sowings. If after sowing, the weather is hot and dry, shade the beds slightly with branches, &c., till the plants appear above ground. Dust the plants with finely powdered caustic lime to keep off insects. All the cabbages, except cauliflower, are hardy, and should be placed in the most exposed situations. After planting, keep down weeds, stir the soil frequently and deeply, draw a little earth about the necks of the plants, when they are from 9 to 10 inches high, to encourage surface roots where the ground is richest. When sprouts are not wanted, take up the old stems when the head is cut, as the stems exhaust the soil, as much if the heads were on. If any plant threatens to run to seed, take it up and put another down. If you want close headed cabbage early in the season, tie the heads loosely together. During dry weather, water liberally with liquid manure. The ground for cabbage connot be too deep or too rich; and as the plant is a native of the sea shore, calcareous soils, lime and salt may be added to the soil. When the plants have formed the head and the centre shows blanching they are ready for use, but young plants and sprouts are cut off as they are required. Plant the early dwarf sorts 1 1/2 to 2 feet asunder, to admit of thinning; those of middle size for main crop, 2 to 2 1/2 feet apart; and the large kinds 2 1/2 to 3 feet.
The White or Common Garden Cabbage contains many sorts, as the early York, Knight's early, and the Portugal--these form large cabbages; but Atkin's Matchless, (a small early white cabbage, ) and Knight's early dwarf, (a hardy sort,) are excellent, resembling the savoy. Plant them one and a half feet apart each way. The large drum-head, or cattle cabbage plant, 3 by 2 1/2 feet apart.
Red Cabbage is similar in form to the white and is the favourite vegetable for pickling, and for German sauer kraut. They are planted 21 feet apart in the row, and 1 1/2 feet in the line.
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CABBAGES AND CAULIFLOWERS.
Savoy Cabbage is distinguished from the close-hearted cabbages by its wrinkled leaves and large full head. Sow the seed early in November in a bed, and transplant about the end of December, or any time to February. Plant in well trenched and manured ground in rows, 2 feet by 18 inches apart; these will come into use throughout the winter.
Brussels Sprouts form small green heads on a stem sometimes four feet long--is sent to table stewed or as a garnish for butchers' meat, from the size of a pea to that of a pigeon's egg. The inner part is what is used after the outer leaves are removed. In taking the crop, remove them with a sharp knife, when their size suits you. Make two sowings, the first in October, the second in November; and when they are ready plant them out 18 inches or 2 feet apart each way.
Borecole is distinguished by an open head with curled or wrinkled leaves, and a peculiar hardy constitution; one of the varieties being the Scotch curled kale. The crown or centre of the plant is cut off, so as to include the leaves. It is tender, sweet, and delicate, but only after frost.
Cauliflower. --The head or flower is used, and is one of the most delicious and best of vegetable delicacies, served up either plain or boiled in a clean linen cloth, to be eaten with meat or dressed with white sauce, it is also used as a pickle. It is raised from seed in a light soil but well mixed with rich manure while growing--as much of the delicacy of cauliflower depends upon its quick growth. For a seed bed, 4 by 10 feet, half an ounce is sufficient. Sow in June for spring planting, and again in September, and for autumn planting sow in January. The size of the cauliflower is of no consequence, it is the fine white creamy colour and compact form. When the head or flower begins to open it is not so good, and it should be used the day it is cut. To remove caterpillars, &c., from cabbages, put them in a pailful of clean water with a handful of salt, for about two hours. The best
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sorts are early London White, early Dutch, large Asiatic, Walcheren, but the two last are best.
Brocoli is used the same as cauliflower, and is distinguished from it by the colour of the flower and leaves, and being of a hardier constitution; its culture and propagation are similar. It should be cut when about the size of a goose egg, and should be used before the head has fairly opened; it is difficult for amateurs to tell the difference between brocoli and cauliflower. Sow each sort separately about the middle of October or beginning of November; and if the weather is dry water them to hasten vegetation. When they are a proper size, plant out to two feet each way. The best sorts are: Grange's early cauliflower broccoli, if the true variety, are best; then the Walcheren, which so closely resembles cauliflower, Elletson's gigantic late white, Willcove's late white, Hammond's white cap, Knight's protecting, and Capple's large cream; requires the same culture and soil as cauliflower.
The Pea is a hardy annual, and is used green, dried, split, or ground into meal; mint boiled along with peas improves the flavour, and corrects flatulency. Peas should be sown in drills, from north to south, to give them the full effect of the sunshine. The distance apart for the drills should be the same as the height of the pea; but Cobbett's plan to secure a large crop is to sow in single rows, 20, 30, or 50 feet apart, and plant other crops to within 1 1/2 to 2 feet of the rows, when the peas will shelter the other crops; or put tall-growing peas outside and dwarf ones and kidney beans inside. One pint of such as the Frame and Charleton, &c., will sow a row 20 yards long, and of the large growing sorts 33 yards; the old plan of double rows is not good. To prevent slugs from eating off the young pea as it comes through the ground sprinkle hot lime or soot over the ground after sowing. When the crop is about 3 inches high draw a little earth round the stems, to slightly support them before sticking. Improved methods of cultivating the pea, such as putting the seed 6
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THE BROAD BEAN.
inches apart instead of sowing quite close together, are recommended, when they get, say two feet high, stop them, and when they have made three joints, after this stop them again; and do this after every three joints, and the increase of crop will be great. Whenever you cease stopping, the peas will flower and set their pods, so that you can keep hack or regulate the crop till you require it; but you must allow no flower to appear till you wish for the crop. The stopping gives strength to the roots, and, as we said, secures a much better crop. The next operation is staking: do this before the stems fall over. The crop should he gathered as it ripens. In favourable situations for early crop, sow in May--such as Beck's gem, early Emperor, Sangster's No. 1, Danistone's prolific; and the next sowing early in August; and then successional sowings every three weeks till April. For late crops sow early sorts; water them freely in dry weather. The best manure is guano, and in fact it is the very best for all garden crops, apply it dry, if possible, and put it under ground, so as to secure the ammonia. If the weather and soil is very dry, water will render it soluble. Peas soon after Christmas will require an extra quantity of rotted manure, which should be watered; then sow and cover with the soil; then when they show blossom give manure water. The tall sorts produce the best crops, such as the marrows, British queen, Waterloo, matchless, champion of England, &c., sown in September, October, November, and December. In a lecture delivered in Sydney in 1835, by Mr. Shepherd, of the Darling Nursery, to have green peas all the year round he would sow them upon a warm northerly aspect in January, February, and March for winter and early spring crops; and for summer and autumn crops, every month from May to December, upon a southerly aspect, upon ground manured for a previous crop of such as cabbage, potatoes, turnips, celery, &c.
The Broad Bean is an annual used in cookery, either in soups or sent up in dishes apart, --is planted once a month for early crops in the open borders; the ground to be dug of 2
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trenched and manured; the rows 2 1/2 feet apart, the beans put in 3 inches distant from each other, the ground drawn roughly over them; the opener the soil so much the better. A crop of lettuce or early cabbage may be planted between the rows; they will come into use before the beans, and remember that early cabbage is finer and tenderer before they form a solid heart, and not when they are hard and large. Sow on a warm, well-exposed border; the second and principal crops may be in more open situations. Instead of planting in continuous lines, a good plan is in detached patches of four or five seeds each; one stick in the centre will do. Keep them clear of weeds, and stir well between the rows during the growing season. When 6 inches high draw a little earth to the stem to keep them steady. When the plants are fully in bloom, or when they have set their flowers, and the first series of beans are formed, pinch off about one inch of the top. This will throw the nourishment down to increase the size of the crop below. They are sweetest and should be gathered when young, or about the size of marrowfat peas. The pea likes a rich, light, warm soil, but the bean prefers a strong, rich, highly-cultivated soil. They are gathered in succession until nearly ripe, as ripe beans are coarse food, flatulent and indigestible. Tor early crop, a pint will do for 80 feet; for main crop, two quarts for 240 feet. Great complaints are made of failures in this crop, but the cause is the want of proper attention.
The Kidney Bean. The unripe pods are used when half filled, cooked like peas; the ripe seeds cooked are called haricot, and from this French name they are sometimes erroneously called French beans. The pods are used as a pickle; they yield a large crop, and are in use all the summer. The scarlet runner is very productive. As an article of domestic economy, the kidney bean has received too little attention. They are easily cooked, and are the most nutritive of all leguminous plants; it is a native of India, and consequently tender. For an early crop, a sheltered border, with
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ground finely pulverised; the drills 2 feet apart, across the border. Set them singly, It inches deep and 2 to 3 inches apart, according to size and variety; half-a-pint for a drill 80 feet long. The ground must be dry, or they will rot. If the plants appear weakly, give manure, either dry or liquid; keep down weeds, and frequently stir between the rows. The scarlet runner is one of the climbing species of the kidney bean. The ground for these should be well trenched and richly manured. The height they grow, say 8 to 10 feet, must have support, either against a building or supported by poles, The crop is better when sown in boxes, and transplanted when four or six inches high; then mould up and stake them. Sow in the beginning of October and every following month till March. The approved sorts are Dwarf Canterbury, Fulmer's early dwarf, dwarf speckled china, dwarf negro, and large running white.
The Potato; Its uses are well known even in New Zealand. In planting, use medium sized tubers, whole, or large ones cut, leaving two eyes or buds. The season for planting depends upon soil and situation; in dry warm soils, early in August is a good time; or the tubers may be replanted, as the Maori fashion is, the day the crop is lifted. Remember that the earliest planted produce, gives the finest, healthiest, and most abundant crop, if the ground is dry, well dug, and manured. Open a drill with a hoe or spade, and set the tubers in this, then draw the earth over them, covering them nearly six inches. Set the small growing kinds in rows, 15 inches apart and 10 inches in the line; the later and strong-growing sorts, 24 inches from row to row and 12 to 15 inches in the line. Thick planting is bad, and is very unprofitable. In ordinary garden soils the sets may be placed 6 inches under the general level of the surface; but in damp wet land the sets should be placed on the surface, and the mould drawn up over them, and, where the ground is very wet, the lazy-bed plan is best. When the plants are fairly above ground, hoe and stir the surface, and draw the earth up to the stem
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to support it. In taking the crop it is a very Bad practice to take a few of the largest formed tubers, and allow the small ones to remain, for after being disturbed they never come to anything. A better plan is to take up the crop as you require it, and fill up the ground with something else. Whenever the foliage of the potato begins to decay, the crop is ripe.
The Sweet Potato or Kumera is an excellent vegetable, and is very nutritious, if boiled till soft, or baked in the oven, or among the ashes. The natives dry them upon a string, after being baked, and they keep good for a long time. Plant them in September or October, upon a light sandy loam, in rows about 18 inches apart, and about 9 inches in the row. The natives put sea sand on the ground after they are covered up. This, of course, will draw more heat to them. Keep them clear of weeds. Plant on a northerly aspect, sheltered from cold winds.
The Jerusalem Artichoke. The tubers are used the same, and require the same culture as the potato; is wholesome and nutritious; is eaten boiled, mashed with butter, or baked in pies. The sets are placed 18 inches by 21 feet apart.
The Turnip is used in soups, stews--entire or mashed--in all temperate climates. The first spring sowing is in August, in a light rich piece of ground, in drills 15 inches apart. Sow for succession every three weeks till May. Manure water, one pound each guano and salt to twenty-five gallons water. Too much raking and levelling garden ground is bad; it may make the garden neat to have the ground flat and smooth; but it keeps out heat and air. It is better to keep the ground loose and open. Turnips are improved by watering them in dry weather; it swells the bulbs, and prevents their running to seed. Make the first thinning when they have made the first rough leaf; they are fit for use from the time they are the size of a pigeon's egg till they are about four inches in diameter. The best sorts of garden turnips are Malta yellow, yellow globe, orange jelly, white Dutch, white stone, early six-weeks, and the Swedish.
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THE CARROT--THE PARSNIP.
The Carrot. Few plants are in greater demand for culinary purposes. It is used in soups, stews, as a vegetable dish, and even in puddings, when grated down. It is also used in making sugar. Very fine bread is made from the white carrot, when boiled and mashed, and then mixed with equal proportion, by weight, of flour. This bread is sweet, and will keep good for a week. The ground should be trenched 2 1/2 feet deep well pulverised, and must be rich, but not newly manured; ground, well manured for a previous crop such as celery. Sow a few early horn about the middle of August, and for general crop, the end of September. Other sowings may be made up to April. Carrots should be sown in drills. For early horn, 9 inches; the larger kinds, 12 inches apart. Cover them about 2 inches; one ounce will sow a drill of 150 feet long. When from 2 to 3 inches above ground, thin or single them out to 4 or 5 inches apart, removing all weeds, and when they are fit for use they should be taken, so as to thin them still more; but do not stir the ground near carrots. The Dutch hoe will remove weeds. A light sandy or loamy soil is best, as stiff clay is not good. Give liquid manure during growth; never give fresh manures. Salt and soot is good; 10 bushels salt and 20 bushels of soot per acre. The best sorts are early horn, early short horn, and the Altringham.
The Parsnip is a good substitute for the potato, yielding a large return of nourishing food. It is used mashed with potatoes and butter. It contains much sugar; and, brewed with hops, makes fine beer. It makes spirits, wine, marmalade, bread, and soup, and is eaten with fish and other meats. It is propagated by seed; half an ounce will sow a bed 100 feet square, the plants to be afterwards thinned to 8 or 9 inches apart. The drill system is best--15 to 18 apart; put the seed 2 inches deep, and when they are 4 inches high, thin them out to 8 inches in the line. This is a hardier plant than the carrot. Sow from June to October, if the ground is dry and friable. A stiff loam manured, and then trenched; stir deeply between the rows while the plants are growing, to prevent forking. They
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may remain in the ground all the winter, and be trenched out as required, a very valuable crop may be obtained from a small piece of ground if the ground is well prepared. We have a fine climate for the parsnip, but avoid late sowing, as it requires the long summer to mature its growth. The hollow crowned Jersey sort is best.
Red Beet. The root is only used boiled or stewed and eaten cold, in slices with vinegar and oil in mixed salads, and for garnishing. They are cut into thin slices, dried in an oven, and mixed with coffee; they are used as a pickle, as rouge by females, &c.; are produced from seed, vegetates more rapidly if steeped in tepid water six or eight hours previous to sowing. One ounce for a drill 150 feet long. For general use sow in October or November. Is easily transplanted; do not break the roots; let the drills be 18 or 24 inches apart, and the seed 2 inches deep. The best soil is a deep light sandy soil. Thin the crop to 6 or 8 inches, and keep down the weeds. The best manure is guano, soot, and salt, in equal proportions, applied when the seed is sown; or if the crop after getting up 8 inches looks sickly, apply the same manure in a liquid state. In taking up the crop do not break the skin. The best sorts are Whyte's black, Cuttle's dwarf, and new blood-red, or mulberry.
Scorzonera, or Viper's Grass, is a hardy perennial; the root is carrot-shaped, about the thickness of one's finger; and as it tapers to a fine point, it thus derives its second name. The outer rind being scraped off, the root is steeped in water to remove part of the bitter flavour; it is then boiled or stewed, similar to carrots or parsnips. A deep light soil, sow in September, in drills 18 inches apart, and thin out to 9 inches in the row.
Salsify, or Purple Goat's Beard. The roots are boiled or stewed like carrots, and have a mild, sweetish flavour; are long and tapering of a flesh-white substance; is raised from seed, 1 oz. for a drill 30 feet long. An open situation, with
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a deep, light, mellow soil. When 3 inches high, thin them out to 6 inches.
The Radish is eaten raw with salt, in all seasons, before breakfast, or sliced and mixed with other salads; they are eaten with salt, vinegar, &c. Avoid thick sowing. The tap-rooted and turnip-rooted may be sown at the same time, will give variety in the salad. Some recommend sowing parsley, lettuce, leeks, &c., with the radish, because they vegetate more slowly. Let the soil be deep, light, and mellow, well pulverised. First sowing in August, and every three weeks till May. A good radish is long-rooted, free from fibre not tapering too suddenly, well shouldered. The manure should not be rank, nor recently added. Radishes are gathered day by day, as required. The strongest-leaved ones are drawn first. The sorts are, the spring or summer kinds, the scarlet or salmon-coloured, the short-topped, and the early frame scarlet; and the turnip-rooted, white and red, and the sub-varieties.
Spinach. The leaves only are used boiled, and served alone, or garnished with hard-boiled eggs; in either case it is mashed small. It is used in soups, and with all sorts of meat, or mashed with butter or rich gravy, and a few sorrel leaves mashed with it. The expressed juice is used to give a green colour to made dishes. It should be boiled without water, except what hangs to the leaves after washing, and when cooked the moisture, which naturally comes from the leaves, is squeezed out before being sent to table. The first sowing in September, in a rich soil in drills 15 inches apart, and thinned out to 7 inches. Sow the prickly spinach in March for winter, and the round sort for summer use, and sow every month for succession. The seed vegetates in about ten days; it may, therefore, be sown between rows of peas, beans, cabbage, &c., newly planted, as you can cut it before the other crop is ready. To hasten germination steep the seed three hours in water, and during the warm, dry, summer weather soak the drills with water
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before sowing. One ounce will sow a drill 150 feet long, sow thin; it is of easy culture, during summer water abundantly.
New Zealand Spinach--White Beet,--Sea Beet,--Mountain Spinach,--Wild Spinach,--Sorrel,--and Patience, are all used as spinach, but are not thought much of.
The Onion is used when young in salads, and when mature in soups and stews. The English labourer use them when about the size of a quill with bread and butter, or bread and cheese. Dean Swift says:--
"This is every cook's opinion,
No savoury dish without an onion;
But lest your kissing should be spoiled,
Your onions should be thoroughly boiled."
Let the ground have a good dressing of well rotted manure, and trenched about 18 inches. Sow the main crop in August for winter, and sow in May to transplant in September, in drills 1 foot apart, distant 4 inches. Apply a slight dressing of soot to destroy insects. Sow only when the ground is dry, 1 1/2 inch deep. When they are from 3 to 4 inches high, clear them of weeds, and thin out to intervals of 3 to 5 inches. For a bed 4 by 24 feet, one or two ounces; but for drills one-third less will do. The time of ripening will depend upon the season, but as the leaves turn yellow and begin to fade, take them up; but if the stems are thick and green, twist them so as to check their growth, and fill the bulb. The best sorts for this climate are white globe and white Spanish, the blood-red, new white globe, brown globe, silver-skinned, the early and the small (a good pickling onion), the Lisbon white tree, or bulb-producing onion, the potato onion, which increases itself by the formation of bulbs underground, the same as the tree onion produce the bulb on the top of the stalk. The mode of cultivation is the same as the potato, only they are set on the ground, and the earth drawn over them. Supply liquid manure liberally during warm weather only.
The Leek is used the whole plant in soups and stews; or the stems blanched and served up with toasted bread and
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white sauce, and eaten with asparagus. Sow the seed about the first week in September on a rich compost, the richer the better. When they are about 6 or 8 inches high, transplant in ridges, and mould up as they advance. The crop is left in the ground until it is wanted for use.
The Chive, or Cive, is cut or shorn by the surface when young and used as a substitute in salads for onions. They are propagated by dividing the roots. A plantation will last for many years. Plant 12 or 15 inches apart each way in small bunches of about a dozen plants. Keep them clear of weeds, and cut frequently.
The Garlic. The root or bulb is used. It is introduced for a short time into the dish while cooking, and when a sufficient flavor is communicated, it is removed. The culture is the same as for shallots. They will keep till next spring or summer. The small bulbs are replanted annually for succession.
The Shallot is used as a seasoner in soup and stews, or cut small, and used raw to steaks and chops. The flavour is much more pungent than that of garlic, but not nearly so rank. It seasons soups, and made dishes, and makes a good addition in sauces, salads, and pickles. It makes excellent pickle. It is easily propagated, each bulb being formed of several parts, called cloves, which, when separated, each one forms a new plant. The season for planting is September, in light finely pulverised soil. Plant in lines 12 inches asunder, and the sets or cloves 4 inches apart. After the ground is well dug or trenched, gather it into ridges about 4 inches high. Put the sets on the top, and slightly cover with earth. Hoe them slightly to keep down weeds and the soil open. When the leaves turn yellow and droop towards the ground, select a dry day, and pull them up.
Rocambole holds an intermediate place between garlic and shallots, and is applied to the same purpose as the latter. It
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is a perennial, having narrow flat leaves, is increased from the small bulbs as it has compound bulbs like garlic, but smaller. It is used the same as garlic and shallot, and nearly for the same purpose. It is milder than garlic.
Asparagus is usually boiled and served alone, to be eaten with melted butter and salt. It makes excellent soup. The part used is three or four inches of the young shoots as they appear above ground. It is best when of a nice fresh green colour, firm, and compact, terminating in a close obtuse point. They should never be blanched. They are grown from seed, and then, after one or two years, are transplanted; but it is better to get the roots from a gardener. Get one-year old plants, and put them 9 inches distant. Manure well, but put it down not less than 2 feet. The asparagus is a native of sandy beaches, often overflowed by the sea, and prefer much moisture. A strong retentive soil is bad. A deep alluvial soil is best. Salt is put along with the manure, and also as a top-dressing--say 16 lbs. to 60 square yards of surface. Plant any time from May to September. It is in season from September till January.
Sea Kale is used in soups, &c. Sow the seed in September, in rich ground trenched and manured; sow in beds 4 feet, with 18 inches between them. Raise the beds about one foot high, to keep it dry. Sow moderately thick, and you can afterwards thin them out. When one year old, transplant them. Do not break the tap roots. It can be blanched by putting pots or boxes over it. Then cover over with manure, or mould to exclude the air. When they are 6 or 8 inches high, it is ready for use.
Artichoke. The lower parts of the leaves or scales of the calyx or flower-cup are used. The bristles or seed down being first removed. The head, whole or cut into quarters, are put on a dry plate; you pick off the scales one by one, the fleshy substance at their base is diped in oil and vinegar, and eaten with a knife and fork. It may be propagated by seed, by slips, or by dividing the roots. Let the suckers be
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at least fifteen inches high before being taken, and replanted immediately; do not curtail the leaves; plant singly in rows four feet by two, putting them in patches of three. The heads will be produced the first season. But plantations should be made every season. Stir the ground well between the plants, and thin out all suckers in the spring, with the exception of three or four of the strongest. Cut the crop when it is fit for use. Do not allow them to flower, as it weakens them. When the stalks show many heads reduce them to two or three. For pickling whole, cut the heads when about two inches in diameter; and for other purposes, when they have attained nearly their full size, but before the scales of the flower-cup begin to open, for when the flowers are formed the heads are useless. The heads should be cut close from the stalk.
Cardoon is a hardy perennial, and resembles the artichoke, but is taller. The tender stalks of the inner leaves of the cardoon rendered white and tender by earthing up (or, as Macintosh has it, the foot-stalks and midribs of the leaves) are used for stewing, for soups and for salads. It is raised annually: sown near the end of November. The trenches are dug as for celery--a little decomposed manure added. Sow two or three seeds in one spot, and about eighteen inches from spot to spot, removing the weakest two when about six inches high. When the plants are eighteen inches high, put in three-feet stakes to each plant, and tie the leaves loosely to them to keep the wind from breaking them. When taking the crop, remove the earth carefully, taking the plants up by the roots. Take off the roots and the points of the leaves; leave only the solid and blanched part.
Rampion. A biennial plant; is eaten raw, like the radish. Has a pleasant nutty flavour. Not of much account.
The Hop: A perennial plant, cultivated for its flowers
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in making beer, &c. The young shoots, when three or four inches high, are cut and used boiled like asparagus. It is said that a pillow filled with hops induces sleep. The hop requires deep rich soil, frequently stirred, and the plantation renewed every seven years. In field culture, plant in rows six feet apart, and the same distance in the row. Put five or six plants in a circle. Each cutting should have two buds or joints--one giving the root, the other the stalk. A crop of beans or cabbage may be taken along with them the first year. The third year the hop comes into full bearing; then for each hill, poles about 12 feet high are required. Guide the shoots and the stem to the poles, and tie them if required. Allow no superfluous shoots. Hops are gathered when the chaffy capsule has a brown colour and a fine consistence. Each capsule contains one seed. To gather hops, lift the poles and the stalks attached, and place them on forked sticks or something to support them from the ground. Gather them at once, and dry them in a kiln; for, in very warm weather five or six hours in sacks will destroy them, if they are not dried. Good hops are bright yellow, with an unctuous clammy powder adhering to them.
Alisander was formerly much cultivated; it has a flavour like celery, and requires similar treatment to cardoon or celery.
Lettuce is used in salads, with cream, oil, vinegar, salt, hard-boiled eggs, &c., or with moist sugar and vinegar, or with vinegar alone; or stewed and eaten with partridge. It is used in Scotch broth and hotch-potch, instead of cabbage. It is raised from seed;--quarter-ounce, for a bed 4 feet by 10 feet, will produce about 100 plants. Sow broadcast. Sow about once a month. For use, take up the plants, cut off the roots and outer leaves, and wash carefully in clean water,--steeping, of course, in salt and water, to remove slugs, worms, &c. The best varieties for this climate: The large Marseilles, Malta, drumhead, Paris white, and matchless.
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Endive. The leaves only are used, blanched, to diminish the natural bitterness. It is also stewed. It is raised from seed: half-ounce for a bed 4 feet by 10 feet. For an early crop, sow in January, and plant them out in March in lines 18 by 15 inches: make another sowing in March. This plant requires a deep rich soil;--when full-sized, tie up the leaves with a bit of flax to blanch them, the same as the lettuce. In winter, it may be blanched with a box or flower-pot. This makes a fine salad, along with celery. Sow on a warm border, thinly, and cover quarter of inch in dry warm weather. Water freely with liquid manure, guano, soot, &c., either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Succory or Chicory. The leaves are blanched and used like endive. The roots, cut in pieces, dried and ground, are mixed with and, by some, preferred to coffee.
Celeryis used either green, for soups, or blanched as a salad. Half-ounce seed for a bed 4 1/2 feet by 10 feet, of the upright sorts; but, for Celeriac, in a rich moist vegetable mould. For an early crop, sow in September; but for main crop sow in October. It is grown in trenches for blanching: the trench, 6 feet wide and 1 foot deep; put plenty manure in the bottom, tread it down, and put 3 inches of soil over it. Put the plants into this, in rows across the beds, distant 14 by 9 inches. The plants are grown in nursery beds till about 10 inches high. Give them plenty of water, and earth them up once a fortnight. This is the Scotch plan. The English plan is to dig the trenches 18 inches wide and a foot in depth, from 4 to 5 feet apart; put in 9 inches of strong soil and well-rotted manure. The plants are lifted with the earth about the roots--only removing the side-shoots and suckers. Plant in the trench 10 inches apart, water well till fit for earthing, but not afterwards. There are several other plans recommended. Earth up only when the plant and soil is dry. In taking the crop begin at one end of a row; take them up by the roots, and avoid bruising or
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breaking the leaves. Remove the outer leaves to be used in soup. The centre and solid part is then examined, discoloured parts removed, washed clean, dipped in salt and water, to remove worms, snails, &c.
Celeriac, or turnip-rooted celery. The bulb, which grows above ground, is cut into slices for salads; in fact, it is used like other celery; but it is not so delicate.
Mustard is used as a salad as cress, and requires the same treatment. Sow every fortnight for succession.
Corn Salad, or Lamb's Lettuce, is used in winter and spring in England as a substitute for common lettuce. Make successional sowing throughout the seasons.
Garden Cress is cultivated for the young leaves, which have a peculiar warm and grateful relish. Gardeners, according to Loudon, rank this as the principal of the small salads, preferable to every other, even water cress. Sow every fortnight.
American Cress is a winter and early spring salad. It has much the flavour of water cress; is a hardy native of Britain. Sow in March or April for spring, and in September or October for autumn and winter, in drills six inches apart. The Normandy or curled-leaved cress may be sown monthly throughout the season. About a square yard at a time, sown broadcast, is enough for a private family. Cover slightly, and smooth with the back of the spade. Lay a wet cloth over it for a few days.
Water Cress is a creeping, amphibious plant, growing in wet ditches and slow running streams. It is a popular favourite, is eaten with bread and butter, &c.
Parsley is in great demand throughout the whole year to garnish cold meats, to make sauces, soup, Ac. It should always be on the table along with any dish highly seasoned with onions; it removes the strong smell. It is also used
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dried. It is propagated by seed only; an ounce will sow a drill 150 feet long. To insure the finest curled variety, transplant once or twice; cover the seed three-quarters of an inch. When the plants are fit to handle, take them up carefully, preserving the long tapering roots entire. Set them in about 12 inches apart, the ground well trenched and manured. Parsley makes a fine edging for walks and borders. Keep them clear of weeds; remove any that incline to run to seed. The ground cannot be too rich. In taking parsley, take the leaf off by the footstalk, and not merely the curled fringe of the leaf, as is often carelessly done. Always take the outside leaves first. Make a sowing in September and another in March, in drills, or in a small bed to transplant.
Purslane. The shoots and leaves; when young, are cooling as a spring and summer salad.
Taragon. The leaves and tips are used in pickles. An infusion in vinegar makes fish sauce.
Fennel. The tender stalks are used in salad; the leaves boiled, make fish sauce, and for many other purposes.
Dill is powerfully aromatic, and is used to heighten the relish of pickles, such as cucumbers; is also used in soups, sauces, and in medicine.
Chervil. The tender leaves are used in soups and salads, and the curled variety in garnishing. For summer use, sow in September; and for winter, in March or April. It resembles parsley in growth, and is very ornamental for garnishing. It is cultivated the same as parsley.
Horseradish grows in marshy places. The root scraped into shreds is used with roast beef, also in salads and sauces, &c.
Indian Cress, or Nasturtium. The flowers and young leaves are used in salads, and have a warm taste, like common cress. Of the tall and dwarf sorts, either will do for pickling.
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The seeds, when half grown, are gathered for this purpose. Sow in October; it will grow in almost any soil.
Marygold, or Pot Marygold, is a hardy annual. Sow in drills 15 inches apart, half an inch deep, and thin out to 9 inches. Gather the flower when fully expanded; dry quick, and bottle for use. The more flowers you gather, the longer it will flower. This is the calendula officinalis of homoeopathy.
Borage. The young leaves and tender tops are used in salad, &c.; the juice of the plant affords nitre, and the dried stalks will burn like match-paper. It flowers long, and is much liked by the honey bee.
Thyme. The young leaves and tops are used in soups, stuffing, and sauces. The common broad-leaved species is used for this, while the flavour of the lemon is preferred for peculiar dishes. It is raised from seed, by parting the roots, and by slips. For winter use, the plant is cut when coming into flower, tied up in bundles, and dried quickly in the kitchen, and they retain their green colour.
Sage is an evergreen. The leaves are used for stuffing and sauces for strong, luscious meats, and also to improve the flavour of various dishes. The small-leaved sort is used for making sage tea. They are propagated by slips or cuttings of the young shoots; the outward shoots are preferred. In gathering sage for use, cut or slip off the young side and top shoots neatly, and do not take them too close.
Mint. Of the several varieties, the peppermint is used for distillation; is cultivated in low, rich, soft, marshy lands. The spearmint: the young leaves and tops are used in spring salads and in soup, and to flavour dishes, as peas, &c. Pennyroyal: a trailing plant, with small, smooth, ovate leaves, used in cookery, and distilled as pennyroyal water. These are all raised by parting the roots. The young leaves of the green spearmint are used in acid sauce with roast lamb.
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Marjoram. There are four species cultivated, pot, sweet, winter, and common. The leaves and tender tops of all the sorts are in constant use. Sow in drills 9 inches apart, in finely-powdered, light deep soil.
Savory. Two species are cultivated: the winter, a perennial, and the summer, an annual. They are propagated by slips, cuttings, or raised from seed. The winter savory is used throughout the year, and is gathered and dried for use when the flowers are opening, but they are best green.
Basil, is a tender annual plant; requires to be sown in October, in light, rich soil. It is a favourite herb amongst cooks as giving an additional zest to highly seasoned dishes. There are two sorts, the large sweet, and the small bush- are highly aromatic. The leaves and small leafy tops are gathered to season dishes, salads, and soups. Both species are raised from seed; they are cut when 2 or 3 inches high.
Rosemary. The sprigs are used as a garnish for some dishes, and stuck into beef while roasting. A decoction is used by ladies to wash their hair. It is propagated by cuttings taken when the young wood is half ripened, put in a shady place, under a hand-glass.
Lavender is grown for distillation, and for placing, when dried, amongst linen, to perfume it. The flower should be left on the spikes, and gathered when quite dry. It is propagated by seeds, cuttings, or slips, but the seeds make the best plants. When 2 inches high, transplant to a poor dry soil, warm, with plenty of sunshine.
Rhubarb used in tarts and pies, the expressed juice makes excellent wine. It is raised from seed or by dividing the roots, retaining two buds to each plant--a deep, rich, rather stiff loamy soil, but not too damp. If raised from seed, a few leaves only are taken the first year, but the second year you may gather with freedom. A plantation will last for five
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years, but a better plan is to throw it out of the ground in autumn and plant again in spring. Remove the flowering stem, unless you want seed. The beds may be made any time from the middle of May to the beginning of September. To have it for use early, invert a cask over it so as to exclude the air, and put some manure round the roots. By good management, rhubarb may be used for eight months out of the twelve, by not taking too many stalks at one time; gather the outer leaves, a few from each plant every week, when in a healthy growing state, never strip a plant of all its leaves. In hot weather each root should have two gallons of any sort of liquid manure, not too strong, poured round it every three or four days, and take care none tails upon the leaves.
Pie Melon, or Fiji Melon, is of easy culture. Sow the seed about the first week in October, deposit five to six seeds in a circle, bury the seed about one inch, and when the plants attain to six inches in height, thin them out to two or three of the strongest of the plants. No more attention will be required, except clearing the ground of weeds and regulating the shoots as they grow. Stop the points of the main shoots when they begin to show female blossoms, as it will increase the size of the fruit; thin out the lateral shoots where they are overcrowded. They require to be planted in a free exposure to the sun, on a moist rich soil, with a barrowful of manure under each hill. When the fruit is ripe, cut it off and place in a dry, airy place, free from damp, and it will keep for a year. It is used in cookery, both for making jams and pies; stewed, either with apples or peaches it makes an agreeable addition.
Pumpkin, Gourd, and Vegetable Marrow, is extensively used in America in soups, stews, pies, and tarts. Pumpkin pie is a favourite dish in England. Requires nearly the same treatment as the pie melon, but is hardier and will grow in almost any soil if well manured. It is either served up boiled or baked, and is a good substitute for the potatoe. Sow the seed any time after the middle of September to the beginning
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of November where it is to remain, on small mounds 6 to 8 feet apart. Sow a few seeds in firm, light, rich, sandy soil. Stop and thin out the shoots as they advance. The fruit will be ripe by April or May. The Vegetable Marrow may be sown about the middle of October. A barrow-load of manure is to be put in a hole covered with 6 inches of mould on the top of this. Sow the seed 14 inch deep; the hole to be 6 feet apart each way.
Cucumber. Sow the seed about the middle of September for the earliest sowing in the open air, and every month afterwards up to December; earlier crops may be had by sowing in frames the first week in August. A light, rich, well pulverised soil is what suits them best.
Angelica, powerfully aromatic, is used to flavour spirits; the stalks are candied by the confectioners. It grows freely in any soil; they may be increased by side slips or sown.
Anise is an annual but grows indigenous in the middle Island of New Zealand. On the fine undulating downs of the Otago province, after the fern has been been burnt down, it shows itself, is much relished by sheep and cattle, and gives a peculiar and agreeable flavour to the milk and butter.
Coriander is cultivated for the same use as chervil, the young tender leaves being used in soups and salads. Sow the seed in drills 15 inches apart, half inch deep, thin them out to 9 or 10 inches.
Caraway is cultivated for its under leaves for soups and salads, but more for its seed, which is used in distillation, in confectionery, in bread, and in cheese. It is propagated by seed, and is very hardy.
Rue, the Ruta graveolens of homeopathy, is grown in gardens to cure croup in poultry; is propagated by seed and by cuttings. It delights in a poor soil, is strongly aromatic, and is hardy and evergreen,
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Hyssop, a hardy evergreen, strongly aromatic, is generally increased by slips or cuttings. It is cut and dried, as recommended for thyme. It grows best on an old wall.
Chamomile delights in a poor, sandy soil, well exposed to the sun, and is increased by dividing the roots; makes fine edging for walks. Gather the flowers when fully expanded, on a dry day, and lay them in a shaded place for a day or two to dry, then in a warm apartment till thoroughly dry.
Wormwood is used in brewing, and for mixing with rue, cress, &c., to mix with the food of young turkeys; the plants are set in the poultry-yard. A glass of the infusion is a good stomachic, like chamomile.
Balm is a hardy perennial now little used. It yields a great quantity of honey to the bees--is propagated by parting the leaves. Cut the crop when coming into flower and dry, but the green leaves are best. It may be planted any time in winter.
Tomato or Love Apple usually propagated by seed, but will strike freely by cuttings taken off the terminating side branches. When first planted out, shelter them for a few days, and, when fully established, expose them as much as possible. As this is a tender plant the seed should not be sown in the open ground till about the middle of October. If earlier, sow in a pot or frame, and transplant about the first week in November on a rich, warm piece of ground. Keep few branches, and expose the fruit well to the sun. Stop each branch just above where it shows fruit.
Egg Plant. A tender annual, sown beginning of November, or sow in pots a little earlier, and planted into the open ground in November, in a rich warm soil. It belongs to the same family, and requires nearly the same treatment as love apple. Its height is about 2 feet; has light violet flowers, which are followed by large fleshy berries; in size and shape resembles an egg; is used in soups and stews, and also eaten sliced and fried with oil or butter.
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Capsicum.--The seed pods of one species furnish the Cayenne pepper of the shops, and for making Chili vinegar. Sow the seed early in October, in a box or flower pot, or on a small hot-bed, and plant out in a piece of rich, well manured, and sheltered ground when 2 or 3 inches high, and you will have fruit by March. Water freely in dry weather; gather the pods when ripe, and dry them in a moderately heated oven.
Nearly all the species of herbs may be cultivated from dividing the root, in the spring of the year, or in the month of September, and this should be attended to annually, or if this is not done many of the sorts, such as sage, marjoram, thyme, and mint, will die out from the continual cuttings from the old plants. Therefore, it is preferable to take a slip off the old root and destroy the remainder.
Dust finely powdered wood ashes over cabbages or plants attacked with blight, on dewy mornings or on showery days: one or two applications will cure it.
A few handfuls of soot dusted about the haunts of slugs will destroy them; or lime dusted over plants when the dew is on will destroy vermin, and will not injure the plants; or chickens with socks on their feet, to keep them from scraping, will very soon clear the garden of these pests.