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THE GARDEN.

(By HOBTTJS.I ; iHort-s is wining to answer »ny qner« lea. Correspondents must giv» their real names and addresses, though not for pnb» ilcatlon.J * -

HINTS. All hard wooded greenhouse plants re-' quiring a larger pot, excepting such as are flowering, must be promptly potted, else there will not be time for the Toots to become re-established in the new soilbefore winter. Asparagus beds should be given their annual dressing of decayed manure, short and free from weed seeds. It has been previously suggested that the old stalkß be cut down to the gTound, burnt, and the beds cleared of all weeds and litter. The dressing of manure should be spread evenly over the beds, then the alleys marked out to line, cut out, and forked up. In forking them it is advisable to scatter some of the finest mould over the manure upon the beds, just enough to cover it, as this gives all a neat finish. Fork the alleys up freely, turning the soil over roughly, by which means heavy rain water will be carried from the beds more freely, so that they do not become too sodden, which is of importance generally, but more* particulary if the roots are aged, or the land is somewhat heavy and retentive below, as the roots retain their health best when not subject to excess of moisture when at rest.

Selection of vegetable seeds should, now that seedsmen's catalogues are published, be made and ordered. Bear in mind it is of the utmost importance to procure good seeds of most approved kinds, notwithstanding the fact that the germinative quality of seeds sold in these days is generally to be relied on. Still, it is injudicious to leave too much to chance, and expect to get the best obtainable at a low price, for which reason growers will do well to select, to the necessary qualities, well proven, good varieties. A peculiarity of modern seed lists is the number of varieties of each kind firms attach their own names to, the only inference to be drawn from which is that they are as good, or better, than such other variety as they offer; hence it will be well to ear mark and obtain them.

Polyanthus and garden primrose seeds must be sown. The latter succeed well in somewhat shaded places.

Pinks should be propagated from pippings or cuttings, as it is best to be forward with the work in view of having really strong plants for future planting. •

Pelargoniums should be cut down somewhat severely. Only three or four joints of the young wood should be retained, and any weakly central shoots cut out entirely if there exists wood enough without it; but the main object- should be to retain a well-balanced base form, from which numerous strong youn<r shoots will ultimately rise. The plants when cut down form more numerous and stronger young shoots if for a week or two the roots are subsequently kept somewhat dry. From the prunings cuttings should be made, inserted into very sandy loam, around the inner edges of 60-sized pots, whereby the stock of desirable varieties is increased.

Not for many years have so many fine dahlias been sent, out as those of 1908. The cactus form still retains premier place among - present-day dahlia men, and as a purely decorative subject rightly so. It is, however, unfortunate (says Mr. P. jlfcCowan in "The Scottish Gardener") that the present tendency is" the inclination for extra large blooms, independent, as a rule, of the plant's habit of growth. It is a fact that many of the best show-board blooms are comparatively useless for garden decoration or for house decoration in a cut state without the aid of some artificial contrivance or other. At shows where there are classes for these flowers shown in bunches or vases, they should be judged, not alone for quality of bloom, but also for their adaptability for effective arrangement without any wiring or other means of support, other than their own foliage and buds. There are now quite a large number of these elegant varieties, and I do not see why those who are responsible for the framing of these classes at some of our principal shows do not make it a condition that varieties which can be effectively arranged in this way should have the preference.

Manuring Gra£s.—A rich, close growth of turf should be maintained by judicious application of fertilisers from time to time. At this season a dressing of manure and soil is advisable where the grass is thin and poor. Bonemeal is also good for a dressing at this time. Being slow in dissolving, its effects extend over a long period. Apply at the rate of two ounces to the square yard. Too much animal manure should not be given, a3 it is likely to cause a too coarse growth. If thoroughly broken up and mixed with fine soil, it has, however, a better effect, and can be more evenly distributed. The various lawn manures advertised are good, and may be used at various times throughout the season as a stimulant. For a winter mix with soil and give a liberal application. Mossy lawns ought to be well raked over to remove moss, and given a dressing of fine wood ashes.

VALUE OF THE ROLLER IN GARDENING. It is interesting to note the difference which it makes in the growth of most vegetables when the seed bod is consolidated by treading or rolling, rather than left in the ordinary way. With beet and onions this is well understood, but with cabbages, leeks, beans, and, in fact, with many seeds, the effect is perhaps not so often noticed (says Gervaise Trombull, in "The Agricultural Economist, and Horticultural Review"). It is absolutely necessary to the healthy life of some fodder plants, but in the garden also it might be more practised, where its good effect in keeping down grubs would be appreciated also. This season I have found kale and broccoli seed to benefit strikingly for a turn with a garden roller on loose ground, an adjoining loose bit not doing nearly so well, and far fewer seeds germinated, and this simple expedient has had a -remarkable effect on scarlet runners, which grew much larger than an adjoining row on equally good, but loose, soil, and have subsequently done much better than the latter. Peas with the same treatment also got on quicker, and so did spinach, but lettuce and turnips do not seem to improve by any special attention in this way, though all seeds seem to benefit by a certain amount of consolidation for their roots— even spinach, as remarked, which does well in loose ground. Firming the ground can be overdone, however, even with Jeeics and cabbages, and germination appears to suffer as well as after-growth in such cases, though these will grow in extremely haxd ground, I have found, especially cabbages. There is little trouble in treading or rolling the ground firmly after sowing, which was the method adopted, and the advantage is soon seen. Broad beans in windy weather would doubtless benefit from the practice.

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THE GARDEN. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 79, 2 April 1909

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