FOR MAY. ’Kitchen Garden. —Notwithstanding that the floral beauty of summer has departed and the golden tints of autumn have faded, the gardener will still find plenty that will employ both his head and his hands, as his attention must now be turned towards making the necessary arrangements for the gardening of next season. What with laying out, making alterations, the preparation of the soil, the securing of plants against frost, and preparing for planting, his time will be fully occupied. The lifting of all late crops will demand attention during the month. The weather of the past autumn has been of such an agreeable nature that work in this department ought to be well advanced; but as plots become cleared of their crops they should be trenched or dug over, leaving the surface as rough and lumpy as possible, so that the air with the rains of winter may pierce it, the fogs and dews will nourish it, while the sunbeams will warm it; and in due course of time it "becomes mellowed by these natural forces into the finest tilth. The soil being in a dry state at present, manure ought to be got into all vacant spaces intended to receive it before the winter rains set in. No garden should have stagnant water within a few feet of its surface. The drainitng of the same ought to be attended to during the present and next month, and as gardens ought to be dry and warm, good drainage will accomplish the object in view. Attend to the -earthing up of late celery, taking care to leave a good head of leaves above the earth as to afford them protection during severe frost. Continue to transplant cabbage. They will be ready for use in the beginning of summer. Those planted during last month will be all the better of having the hoe run through them, and as they advance ingrowth have them earthed up by having from three to four inches of soil drawn to each side of their stems. Make a sowing of peas and beans, dwarf fan and mazagaa beans are suitable, with Beck’s gem and Carter’s first orop peas for this season of the year. The peas should not be sown closer than three feet from row to row, and the beans two feet. They should be sown thickly so as to allow for loss during the months of winter. Spinach should be kept clear of decaying leaves and weeds, and the hoe kept freely at work wherever it is required. The hoeing may be carried on among all the crops as long as the state of the ground will allow. Clean and topdress asparagus beds with a ■coating of good dung, applying salt at the same time. Have all dead leaves and other vegetable matter removed, and let order, n<tatn‘--s, and cleanliness be everywhere ap- |> ir.r t.
. Fruit Garden. —By this time the fruit crops of the district will have been gathered, the fine autumn weather which we have enjoyed, with the sunshine, will have added much to the flavor and color of the fruit; the regret amongst fruit growers being the dull market and exceeding low prices this season. As soon as the trees are cleared of their fruit and the •Jeives have fallen to earth, pruning and transplanting of trees and hushes should bo proceeded with at once. The remark, however. does not apply to tender fruits, such as peaches, apricots, and nectarines, the prunning ■■£ which ought to be delayed till Spring time, so as to keep the blossom as backward as possible. Those intending to plant fruit trees this season cannot begin too early, so ; as to allow the roots to heal and make a little new growth into the soil, being careful when placing the roots into there new positions, not to crowd them, but see that they are spread out regularly Doing so will afford each fibre plenty of scope to run and establish itself. When planting use fresh turfy loam, which will produce evenness of growth. Fruitfulness, and healthy trees will he raised from it. Where the ground you intend to plant cannot.be trenched for the young trees see that the pit is made wide enough, so as to allow the roots to grow a season or two before they reach the sides. Mulching, if adapted, will be a protection against frost during the winter months. The trees that were planted during last season should receive a top-dressing of well prepared dung, so as to insure perfect protection for any young rootlets that may have pushed near the surface from the main stem. We •should be prepared for high winds 1 during the winter months. Arid attention- should be given to the staking and tying of all trees that are in exposed positions. Those intending to transplant large trees, or if the roots require pruning, this will be found a good time to perform the operation ; in some instances it will be necessary to take up the tree altogether, and have the roots reduced •considerably. In others, if a trench be made all round at a distance of 3 to 4 feet from the stem will suffice. It will check materially all super-abundant growth, thereby greatly assisting in the formation of fruit buds. Raspberries and fruit bushes of sorts may be planted without delay, and as soon as the leaves have dropped proceed with the prun-ing-of the same. Flower Garden:— The season of the year has arrived when we must expect that the flc&ver garden will be stripped of its beauty, the occupants- having completed the term allotted for them. Spring, summer, and autumn-having come and gone, giving - place io .theicold icy hand of winter, and although theVborders and beds will show the effects of its tvithferirig blasts, we can fairly exclaim, “Alas-! its glory has departed”'; but we can make, up, in order, neatness, and cleanliness,.if -possible, for. the want of flowers.. The ’clearing away of all ‘ dead or faded flowers, manuring and digging of 4M "'flower beds and borders, will constitute the princi-
pal work for the month. Those who have choice pelargoniums growing outside should at once have them lifted and potted into dry earth, giving them little water during the winter months, keeping in mind that the choice variegated varieties are not overlooked, they requiring to be'slightly protected under glass. Dahlias should now be lifted, before doing so cut down the stem leaving about four inches, so that the lable of each one may be attached to each with a piece of wire, after which they should be carefully lifted and laid out to dry previous to their being stored away in the winter, which should be in dry sand. Attend to the transplanting of hollyhocks, double wallflower, Brompton, and other stocks. Now is a good time to have tulips, crocus, hyacinth, narcissus, jonquil, and lilies of the valley planted, including many other varieties of bulbs. They ought to receive a share of attention as they will well repay the little labor that might be expended upon them. To grow them well they would require to be supplied with a good rich soil, one with plenty of well rotted manure and sand mixed together will suit them ; at the same time it is important to have the bulbs all planted one uniform depth, otherwise they will flower at irregular intervals. The month is a suitable one for the transplanting of flowering shrubs and deciduous ornamental trees. Before doing so all weeds should be destroyed, and the soil trenched to the depth of two feet. Should it prove to be in a poor state, have it enriched with a liberal- top-dressing of well rotted manure. The above varieties require such aids at planting time, as by having the pits well prepared they will soon make a start and be in full health. Plantations of trees and shrubs should beprunedand thinned duringthe month where necessary. Those newly planted should be securely staked, so as to protect them against high winds, which, as a matter of course, will prevail during the winter months before they have established themselves in their new quarters, it will add to the future success of the plants.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 105, 27 May 1880
Garden Calender. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 105, 27 May 1880
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