GARDENING FOR THE WEEK
Out contributor, a well-known gardener, will be glad to answer questions, which uust be. received not later than Tuesday of each week.
—The Flower Garden.— Lift and sort out ail bulbs that have ripened their tops. Narcissi in particular should be lifted at once, as their rest period is very short. Very soon after the tops have died down root action commence*. Lift the bulbs separately, each kind by itself, sorting out the full-grown or flowering bulbs separately from small ones, a a it is impossible to have tho best effect from beds with all-sized bulbs. Plant the flowering bulbs for effect. The non-flowering or small bulbs should bo planted in a little nursery by themselves. Lift tulips, hyacinths, ranunculus, and suchlike bulbous or tuberous-rooted plants and store them until planting time, preparing the ground in the meantime. The noil best adapted for the successful cultivation of bulbs is ono of a light, sandy nature, moderately deep, and made fairly riels with well-rotted manure. I should strongly advocate early planting of bulbs, especially the better kinds of narcissus, which are better planted as soon after lifting as possible, or not later than March or a* early in April as possible. If planting of choice narcissus is delayed it is detrimental to their flowering. Very often when very late planting takes place the bulbs die after flowering. At best it interferes or prevents tho natural increase of the bulbs. The depth_ to plant narcissus depends upon tho size of the bulb and the nature of tho ground. Light soil means deep planting and heavy soil shallow planting, but as a general rule three times the depth of each bulb is a good guide. When I say each bulb I mean each variety, as it is important to plant at an even depth, as irregular planting means Irregular' flowering, The trowel is the best tool to plant with, or if a dibble is used drop a little sand in tho hole for each bulb to rest upon, or when dropping the bulbs in the hole they may bo hung; that if, the base of the bulb does not rest upon the bottom of the hole caused by the point of the dibble. Failures often occur when planting in this fashion on grass lawns or firm soils.
Hyacinths should be planted about 4in In depth on very rich soil, with the bulbs resting upon a little mixed charcoal and sand. Plant tulips about Sin deep. Ranunculus do best upon a cool, deep, rich, moist soil. The best is a clayey rich loam—that is, a cool clay soil which has been well enriched with good manure. Riant Sin, with forked ends down. —The Greenhouse.— The greenhouse should be kept well aired, and attention must be paid to shading. All plants other than those in flower should have frequent syringing, or be watered overhead to keep them clean and free, from insects. During yen- hot days water the floor of the bouse to keep down heat, and obtain a moist atmosphere, as the growth of any plants renders the operation necessary. If green fly. thrips, or red spider makes its appearance fumigate with nicoticidc. Plants ju.-t com Irg m*u flower will benefit by water ing with liquid manure. Azealens, camellia. hire • srncimens of heaths, aim' other h.-i'-d wood plants should he r>!;; . i jnfcside fur a time to harden, their for future flowering, but (.are must lie )aken to find them a cool, shady situation. Vnd that they be not neglected for want >f water. Cinerarias mu-l lie potted. Is they require a shift. Never in any case thonld they he allowed to become pot )ound whilst they are in small parts.’' or fremature flowering will take place, and to amount of care or after attention well tave them. There is still time for a sec»nd sowing of these to be made for u continuous season of flowering. Sow also calceolarias ; sow thinly in rich open soil, scarcely covering the seed, m a shallow, well-drained pan—placing a square of glass over the pan to retain the moisture iu the soil. Keep or place the pan in the coolest and shadiest place at command. Schizanthus: This lovely greenhouse annual does well if sown now to come into flowering in late autumn. Pelargoniums that have done flowering should be cut back to nearly the hard wood, placed in a cool, dry situation, and very little water given, but merely a fine sprinkling overhead to encourage young wood to be made for next season’s flowering.
—Answers.—. . “ Anxious ” wishes to know the best way to kill potato blight. You have a lot of potatoes, and as they flowered they were covered with a green fly. Some time after swarms of blowflies settled on them. As you thought this indicated signs of ■potato blight you dug them up rather than lose them. Neither the green nor the blowfly has anything to do with potato blight,. Firstly, tho green fly attacks them when they become stunted or checked. As with most other plants, green fly rarely attacks healthy-growing plants. Tho black blowfly and other flies often follow tho green fly. Tho reason of this -is they eat or pick up the sticky deposits which the green fly leaves behind. You will find on handling foliage thickly covered with green fly that it has a sticky, honey-like feel. It is this that the common black fly goes for. As you have taken up your potatoes, manure the ground, dig it well, and give the ground a good liming on tho surface. Then rake it in and leave it for a summer fallowing. It should then be in fine condition for the next season.
“ Pansy ” has a bed of this season’s seedling-; which have taken the green fly badly, I do not know the cause, as yon say the ground is good rich soil, and you have kept it well watered. ' There is no doubt that your pansies have received a check, hence the attack of the green fly, which is not surprising this season. Water the pansy bed with a little soft soap and warns water —2oz soft soap in Igal hot water—■ and syringe it on very lightly, just hot enough to bear the hand in comfortably. After this water wkh soot water once a week. This will not only check the fly, but will stimulate the plants at the same time. Place the soot in a bag, and place in a tub of water. In 24 hours it will be ready for use. Dilute it with clear water the color of weak tea. " .Mother ” wishes to know how often sweet peas should be watered—if it should he every day or just twice a week. Sweet peas, as with other things, should not have water given them regularly every day. or any regular time, but should have it given them when they require it. Give them a good soaking, then leave them until the surface becomes dry. Give plenty during very dry weather, less in dull weather, and none during showerv or wet weather. Feed, them with liquid manure during dull or showery weather, and never when they are very dry, unless they receive a watering first with clear water.
M.” wishes to know which is the best manure for a vegetable garden, as ho finds a difficulty in procuring good stable manure. In place of farmyard or stable manttle it is best to use various kinds, as one kind of vegetable requires a, different food to another -to a certain extent. For instance, root crops taka quite a differentfeeding from the cabbage or hrassica. Soot bono meal, and superphosphates aro good. The principal inorganic or mineral constituents of plants aro potash, soda, lime, iron, phosphorus, sulphur, chlorine, and silica. Clay soils contain quite different chemical elements to peaty or sandy soils, the latter being generally
rich in silicas and poor in phosphates and alkalis, hence different soils require different foods. I think your wisest plan would be to get a good garden manure mixture from some reliable firm in town rather than to get various kinds and mix them 'yourself! Use limo for your clay coil, whatever else is used.
‘‘Berry” sends six lands .of gooseberries for naming. No. 1 (yellow), very like Leveller, but not quite long enough. Nos. 2, 3, 4, and 5 are all one variety, and a very poor sample at that, not worth naming or growing. No. 6, Rod Warrington. " H.G.
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GARDENING FOR THE WEEK, Evening Star, Issue 15702, 16 January 1915
GARDENING FOR THE WEEK Evening Star, Issue 15702, 16 January 1915
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