GARDENING FOR THE WEEK
Our contributor, a well-known gardener , will be, glad to answer questions, which ■ .ust be received not later than Tuesday of each week. - —The Vegetahl.-> Garden.— Continue the wink advised in last weak, and take the additional advice tiiat during dry tipeUii some precautions should be taken against sowing the seeds or. ground that i> parched and dry. To sow seed in such ground would most likely mean failure. Water the soil thoroughly before sowing, allowing an hour or two for the water to soak well in and the soil to become workable. Hot, dry soil ex trade all the moisture from the seeds, and unless rain conies very shortly after seining the seed? will be partially or wholly destroyed. Keep early-planted potatoes well earthed up as they make- their appearance, as I think wc- are not quite out of the wood yet as regards frost. Late frosts are rarely quite past until after October is ended. Frost has been very unfortunate for the fruitgrowers in Con Hal Otago. A friend informs me that the stone fiuit has suffered severely, being almost a total failure in places. I hop® the other crops will be extra- good; to compensate somewhat. —The Rose Garden.— Ros 3 enthusiasts will bo busy among their pets just now and for some time to come. Various is the work which will have to be attended to, particularly that of rubbing out all superfluous growths, especially these that break into several shoots from one eye. Select the best one, and that pointing outward, and rub the rest away. Remove also shoots that point ina'ard, as these cause confusion and an ugly-shaped bush as well. Select a nice even lot of shoots, all pointing outward; then each and all will receive their full share of light, and be likely to give the best results.
Mulching.—There are various ways and methods in which roses may be fed. It is not. wise to treat all rose beds alike. The soil must be considered. For instance, a light position with free, open, and perhaps sandy soil would be better to mulch with Mod manure, such as cow and horse mixed. Give a dressing of two or three inches in thickness, then frequent good soakings of water at least once a week. This w’ill keep the soil In fine form, and feed the plants at the same time. On the other hand, if the soil be of a heavy nature it would not be wise to mulch heavily, but rely upon artificial feeding. Tonk’s rose mixture applied at the rate of a 4in potful to 6ft square of ground would prove of great assistance. Scatter it evenly over the surface, avoiding the foliage, then give it a nice raking in, and if the ground is dry water it in. There are two seasons which are most suited for appliyng these chemical mixtures : just as the growth is starting away in the spring, and again as the flower buds have formed. This mixture is particularly good applied when buds are forming. 1 have frequently given the ingredients, but it may be procured already made up from the seedsmen. Cow and horse manure, with a little soot added, put into a nag, and placed into a barrel of water, ana stood for 24 hoars makes an excellent liquid for roses. The right strength to apply it is about the color of ale or tea, adding sufficient water to suit, and as the liquid in the barrel runs down add more water, stirring around the bag occasionally. Never apply stimulants to the plants when the ground is dry. Water the ground first, then apply the liquid, or apply it during showery weather. Very shortly disbudding will have to be attended to. Disbudding means rubbing out all surplus buds. Many rpses come in clusters on the end of each shoot. To allow all these to remain would mean a bunch of very inferior bloom. Jf a first-class bio >m is desired, all but the strong centre bud must be pinched out or removed. If quantity is desired in preference to one or two blooms, more must be left. Many kinds send up only one bud to each stem. They need no thinning or disbudding. Koop a sharp look-out as the reason advances for caterpillars. Wherever you see a swelled leaf be sure you squeeze it between the thumb and finger to destroy whatever may be inside. —Answers.— “W.J.J.” sends a palm leaf, and wishes to know what is wrong with it. He purchased the palm four or five weeks ago. It is not pot-bound, and it has not been in the gaslight for more than four hours, and he waters it once a weak.—lt is quite evident that the plant has suffered very considerably from want of moisture at the roots, as well as on the foliage. This is a fatal mistake in palm-growing. Such weather as we have experienced for some weeks past would necessitate its being watered at least every other cay. To keep a palm healthy you must keep its roots moist and cool, and sponge the foliage with clean tepid water as often as you like—once a week will do until you got your palm into a healthy condition, but I am afraid it will be a difficult task, as it is in a ba I way. It appears to show traces of thrips badly. This is a very little black or brown long shaped insect found upon the under side of the leaves—a sure indication of too dry treatment. Constant sponging for a time will soon clear them. If you have a greenhouse witn thrips in it, then you will have to fumigate the house with Nicnticide or “S.L.-A11.” Again, never expose palms to cold or hot cutting winds or draughts through windows or ventilators. Have moist roots and as moist an atmosphere as possible. It would assist me if correspondents would give in such cases the size of the plant and the size of the pot in which it is grown, as there may be other causes. G! idioms will benefit by the application of liquid manure after they are well into growth, just as they are forming their flowering spikes, and up to the time they begin to show color. Do hot give it too strong nor too often. Once a week will do. “ J.T.M.” asks the name of the flower forwarded.—lt was too far gone to identify. When sending flowers for naming, always include a portion of foliage, leaf, or stem. Try again. “ Maori Hill.”—The portion of bark forwarded is very badly affected with scale blight. I thought by your first note that it might possibly be red spider, but it is scale. It is rather late to deal effectively with n pq Jhadlv affected* bilk.
I should certainly recommend a good spraying with kerosene emulsion, made of 1 gallon of kerosene, common soap, boiling water 5 gallon. Place the soap in the water (.soft water preferred, or soften hard water with a little common soda), and boil until the soap is thoroughly dissolved; then take it off the fire and pour the solution into the kerosene, thoroughly churning it up with a syringe for 10 or 15 minutes. Its appearance should be like thick cream, which will thicken at cooling, and with no appearance of kerosene. Add 10 to 14 parts of water to one of the emulsion. Use when warm. It is a good plan, when only one or two trees are affected, to go over the worst limbs with a brush. Spraying oils are good, but the risk is too great at this season. H.C.
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GARDENING FOR THE WEEK, Evening Star, Issue 15632, 24 October 1914