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it with the soil. There will now be an opening at the top, and one third of the earth left at the bottom. Tread the whole surface over, and again lay on six inches in depth of dung, forking it up the hill, and keeping the same opening. The whole mass of earth and dung will then be thoroughly mixed from bottom to top, and the opening will take the remainder of the earth thrown out of the first trench.
The work should be done in dry (not frosty) weather-say, in October. The ground being thus prepared, throw it up in rough spits, one spade deep, to be pulverized by the frost against planting time.
My time of planting is, when I observe the plants to have grown about an inch above the ground in the seed-bed, chovsing a dry day when the soil will work freely. After having marked out my beds four feet in width, and having allowed two feet for the alleys, I strain a garden line on each side, and, as before mentioned, with a rake draw the soil equally off the bed into the alleys about two inches and a half deep. I then strain the line ex. actly through the middle of the bed, and, with the point of a dibble, make light marks one foot six inches apart. That being done, I then strain the lines nine inches from the margins of the bed, being a distance of one foot three inches from the middle row to the outside ones. These I mark in the same way as I did the middle one ; but so that the plants will not be opposite each other. Every thing being now ready, plants are obtained from the seed-bed, selecting the finest, and exposing them as lule as possible to sun and air. I place one plant over each mark made in the bed, spreading the roots out as regularly as possible on the surface, and laying, as I proceed, a little soil with the band from the alleys on the plants, in order to fix them in their places. The bed being planted, I sirain the lines on the outside, and, with a spade, throw the soil from the alleys over the crowns, covering them about an inch and a half, but not deeper. If any burned reg. etable matter can be obtained from the rubbish heap, I should recommend coating the beds over about half an inch in depth with it, after they have been planted. In autumn, when the stalks are ripe, cut them down close, and clean off the beds, taking care not to disturb the soil, the crowns being so near the surface. Make a mixture of equal parts rotten dung and burned garden rubbish, and coat the beds with it three inches in thickness, just covering it with soil from the alleys. In this state, allow them to remain during winter, and, early in March, run it through with a fork down to the level of the bed when covered.
I have cut a few heads the second year after planting ; but in the third year one half the fine asparagus that comes up may be cut without injoring the plants. The fourth year, the beds are in fine bearing condition ; and when in this state, my method is, to keep every thing cut, both large and small, up to the first or second week in June, with the exception of the heads selected for producing seed. After this time, I allow the whole to take its natural growth, and I find my beds to continue for years in a good bearing state. Some of them were made ten years ago, and I have cut finer asparagus from them this season than I did three years back. And I
must mention, further, that I have not put a barrow-load of dung on them for four years. In the summer months, I keep the rubbish of the garden burning, preserving the ashes dry until autumn ; and as soon as the asparagus is fit to cut down, I take off half the soil above the crowns with a fork, laying it on the alleys. I then put on three inches in thickness of burned rubbish, running it through with a fork as near the crowns as possible without injuring them. I then take a portion of the soil that has been removed, and cover the beds with it, allowing it to remain on them through the winter. Early in March, I mix the whole well together with a fork, and rake the beds off regularly, watering with manure-water once a week through the growing season, if required.
I have grown a crop of turnips or lettuces on my beds every year since they were planted; but I do not recommend the plan, if sufficient ground can be had for these crops in other parts of the garden.”-pp. 39, 40, 41.
Mr. Meek, the champion of Polmaise heating, has a long article on the subject; but the success of the system has been confined to so few, that we shall not enter into a discussion of it till we have more evidence of its general application.
Under our head of Floricultural Notices, we shall mention all the new plants of interest which are described in the Journal.
Art. IV. A Brief Compend of American Agriculture. By ART
R. L. ALLEN. 12mo. pp. 437. 2d Edition. New York. 1847.
At page 487, (Vol. XII.) we noticed this work, and we are happy to learn that a second edition has already been called for,—the best evidence of its value. We again recommend it to the attention of every friend of Agricultural Improvement.
Scarlet Pelargoniums for Winter Blooming Plants. The Huntsman and General Tom Thumb scarlet geraniums, deserve more attention than is generally paid them, as winter blooming plants. There are few persons who will not admit, that they form objects of great beauty for the greenhouse or conservatory, during the dark and dreary months of winter; and they are plants of such easy cultivation, that I am surprised we so seldom see them in bloom in the winter time. I have seen them in bloom from September till the return of Spring, by the plan of taking off cuttings about this time, or selecting some of the best dwarf plants, from the store pots, and pouting or striking them in sixties, in good rich soil; as soon as they are rooted, they can be finally shifted into twenty-fours; then plunged over the rims of the pots in the open borders, or in beds of ashes. They will require little or no attention till taken up, except to top the shoots occasionally, and to pinch off the blooms till the plants attain a moderate size, which will be about the end of August or beginning of September. In October, before the frost comes, they must be taken up, the pots washed and cleaned, and then they must be at once removed to the greenhouse or conservatory. They wil be in full bloom, and a supply will come on in rotation. The little trouble that is occasioned will be amply compensated by a brilliant display of rich scarlet blooming throughout the winter. (United Gardeners' Journal, 1817, p. 241.)
Root Pruning Trees.—Some three or four years ago, when the subject of root-pruning was first discussed, we felt much interested in the subject, and republished an article by our correspondent, Mr. Rivers, of the Sawbridgeworth Nurseries, England, showing the benefits and advantages of the system. We also practically satisfied ourselves that the plan was an important one to every cultivator, enabling him to bring trees into bearing, when all other means had failed. But some of our amateurs and professional men have not been convinced of its utility, and even our friend, Mr. Ernst, in a recent article, (p. 57,) views the system as a sort of horticultural heresy, calculated to do much mischief,” which “ will have its day, and then be permitted to slumber among the errors of the times." To all who entertain such impressions, we invite their attention to the following remarks; and when they have proved them by experiment, as we have, to be correct, we doubt not it will be generally adopted where it is desired to grow a variety of trees in a small space, and speedily bring them into fruit.-Ed.
As I was one of the first who called your attention to the root-pruning of pear trees, for the purpose of making them bear early, I was glad to find, on a visit 10 Sawbridgeworth Nursery the other day, that Mr. Rivers has carried out, with the most complete success, his management of the pear, so as to produce early fruitfulness, and yet the most vigorous and healthy growth. I should say that you will scarcely find one tree in a hundred of his vast nursery of pears, (covering, I cannot recollect how many acres,) which is not covered with bloom. The trees are three to four feet high, trained conically, and, with few exceptions, all grafied on quince stocks. In addition to the dwarfing effect of this stock, he finds many of the best kinds of pears, which are worthless on pear stocks, produce excellently flavored fruit on the quince. There are, however, some kinds which he finds it impossible to cultivate on this stock, and therefore, in order to avail
himself of the advantages of the stock, he first grafts on it a common pear, and then grafts or buds the reluctant or refractury variety on the pear; and by this mode of double working, he procures a good bearing tree, with all the advantage of the quince root. Five years ago, I had small pear trees, with bloom buds in November, which bore a good crop in the following year; and any one who had laid in a stock of these little conical trees last autumn, might have this season had an orchard of pears in full bearing, always presuming that we do not have such a May to destroy our fruit as we had last season. It is astonishing what a collection of these trees may be contained in a small space ; from five to six feet apart, in rows running
; north and south, is quite space sufficient. I feel satisfied that not half sufficient attention is paid to this fruit for our desserts; a very little care, and a judicious selection of sorts, would ensure thein daily from the end of July till May. I found two sorts in Mr. Rivers' fruit house, both in excellent order—the Fortuné, an admirable pear, and the Ne plus Meuris, and I dare say these will be equally good a month hence. I think he told me he had nearly 900 kinds, of course very many of which are worthless, but there are many which he has not yet proved; and again, although his grounds afford a great variety of soil and aspect, yet as it is known that climate, aspect, and soil have a strong influence on the excellence of the fruit, we are still in want of information from your various correspondents on this subject. There are many kinds which produce finer looking fruit on walls, which, however, are much surpassed in flavor by the smaller fruits, as on espaliers or on conical shaped standards. I have adopted a suggestion of Mr. Rivers, in planting a conical trained standard near the wall between my peach trees, and find the fruit of the tender varieties better flavored than what is grown against the wall ; and these trees take up little or no wall. Mr. Rivers finds the trees grafted on quince stocks flourish better when the whole of the stock is covered with earth (he grasuing at about six inches from the ground) as the stock is apt to get hard and hide-bound, especially when the graft is of a kind of vigorous growth. He has planted several on mounds of earth, tonguing the stock to encourage the throwing out of small roots, and he proposes in the autumn to replant them, cutting away the bottom strong roots, and then obtaining little else ihan a mass of fine fibrous roots for the support of his tree, which will make fruitfulness certain. When this matter was first discussed, that is, a systematic course of root-pruning, for we all admitted that it was occasionally dune before, the objectors cried out that no good fruit would be produced ; that the fruit like the trees would be stunted and without flavor and gritty. I can report that the fruit on my root-pruned trees has been finer than that produced on old trees which were left in their natural state; but these pruned trees must be duly attended to, manured, and must be mulched in a dry summer.—(Gard. Chron. p. 253.)
Culture of the Chinese Primrose.--In pot culture, two different methods may be pursued. When the object is to obtain a number and succession of plants, three or four sowings should be made from the beginning of July to the end of September. As soon as the seedlings have formed two proper
leaves, they may be potted in small thumbs, and afterwards progressively shifted till they are in pots of the required size : four and six-inch pots will generally be found large enongh. The soil proper for them consists of onehalf sandy loam, the other half leaf-soil, or leaf-soil and peat. The seeds may be raised in a slight hotbed, where the plants may remain until they are established in their first shist; they must then be removed to a cold frame, open day and night, and covered with glass only during violent rain. On the approach of frost, they may be removed to a cool, airy part of the greenhouse, as near as possible to the glass, as, without abundance of light and air, the flower-stems will be drawn, and the colors will be dim. They require, at all times, an abundant supply of water, and, therefore, the pots should be well drained to ensure a due circulation ; for few plants are more impatient of stagnant water about their roots. Some recommend the plants being placed a little deeper in the pot at each shifting, but that is a bad practice, being calculated to cause them to damp off at the neck. In this way, a succession of flowering plants may be maintained from November to May; those with the largest flowers and finest colors only should be reserved for seed; the others may be destroyed as soon as their beauty is past. I anticipate that we shall, by and by, have spotted and variegated varieties: perhaps, by impregnating the white and pink with each other, something of the kind may be produced. Those intended for seed should be placed in a drier atmosphere and higher temperature than the greenhouse affurds.
In the cultivation of large specimens, either of the single or double vari. eties, healthy young plants may be selected in the beginning of August, in four-inch pots, with their roots just appearing at the outside of the ball : they may at once be transferred to pots a foot in diameter, prepared in the most careful manner; they should have not less than iwo inches of large crocks in the bottom, then a thin layer of fine pieces, which should be covered with the fibres of turf or peat; the soil may be the same as before recommended, but the loan should be in large turfy pieces, and mixed with a third part of crocks and pieces of charcoal; the whole should be carefully placed in the pots, and mixed with pure but sharp sand in such a manner that veins of it may run right through the mass ; the soil ought not to be pressed into the pots, but merely slightly shaken, and the pot beat on the potting-bench. The plants should have been well watered a short time previous to potting, and will not require a further supply for two or three days. They may be placed on a gentle hotbed until they begin to grow, but must not be allowed to remain longer than a week, when they must be removed to a cold frame, and elevated upon inverted pots until their leaves are on a level with the edges of the frame. Air must be increased gradually for a few days; afterwards, the lights may be taken off for two or three hours, morning and evening, and during the middle of the day, and at night, tilted upon the side opposite the quarter from whence the wind blows. A slight shower in the morning or evening will be of benefit to them, but not more than will suffice to wet the leaves ; nor must heavy rain be allowed to fall upon them; for a thunder shower of very short duration