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Out contributor, a well-known gardener, will be. glad to answer questions , which i lust be received not later than Tuesday cf each week. —The •Vegetable Uanloa,— The main feature in tbis_ department ■rill be in attending: to growing crops by war of hoeing and raking to clear off wfeds. The hoe is of the utmost importance during this and next month, Ground that has been frequently stirred with the line will not only be free from weeds, hut will be kept sweet and moist. This renders the crops great assistance. I canny! speak too strongly on this work. V. ■' should never wail until we see lots weeds before hoeing the ground, for it ifar easier to destroy thorn in the voting Mate, just as germination begins, than it :s ’.cnen they are nearly full grown. Frequent stirring is also of much benefit to the ground. Another point, of importance is n r thoro who have potatoes beginning to 'nave a yellow appearance and desire other crops for winter. They should uoi hesitate to lift the poi aloes, and get in bror- • ■■•ii, savoys, mid other winter gro-eir-. whilst- there is plenty of growth in Hie ground. To delay getting in these crop's is a mistake, as the results are not nearly -cp good when late planting takes place. As for the potatoes, if tho tops are beginning to turn yellow, they may with care be lifted and stored without any injurious effect to the tubers. 1 hey will ripen almost at. well in store as in tne ground, if care be taker, in lifting not to '■nb the skins • >lt. I may also slate that potatoes required for sets are better lilted , early and boxed than when h'!r in the ] g’ound until late autumn. i —Packing Sweet Peas for Exhibitum. - ; "When exhibiting near homo there should j be no question as to when to rut luv j {lowers, bcH-ausa if this can be don-- on the j morning of the show so mude il.e boitc;. : Many of the colors will be ad inr 11 c ! •'■' j for it. Especially is this the uisc with [ n.nige. crimson, and scarlet vuric:ies. Hut : 1: is quite another question when dowers i have to be brought a long distance. If j the weather is bine there is not- much to) -,-nrrv about, but tf it should be v.ct and j siormy, then the trouble begins. However, i (f one has a convenient room for drying j cue blooms in. there is still hope that- j nmy may emerge, from the boxes in a-j f.viriv good condition. At a. 1 , times the rbovers should he cut dry. either just h •; r the dew has gone "tf them in the neemm' or about A o,lnck ;n the aitcr-i-i,in anv case, if the llowrs have go any distance. they should bo cut ; at least two hours before they arc packed. | If ihe flowers should be wot at cutting j -nmc provision must ne made lor drying | them. If the weather be damp, then a j vt-rv good place is a good airy room with ! Hula fire on. Immediately the blooms: .ire cut they should be placed loosely m ■ water in a fairly light and airy room, where a current of air can reach them. !thev are wet. ;t is surprising, if a. little Trouble be taken, how quickly they wiil dry. The age at which flowers should b.- cut will depend upon circumstances. If they have to tiavrl a. long railway i jouniev the top flowers should nub bo more j than half expanded. Crimson, scarlet. | and orange, shades should be left, on the ! limits as long as 'possible, bm some, of j the pale blues and lavenders will improve if given two or three hours longer in ■.eater. But this must not be overdone, ,r the colors will have- faded somewhat before the judge goes around. The systems of packing are varied. Boxes, bask‘ ls, and other appliances are used. Some ■ any their blooms in water, but, this is no; necessary, especially it the flowers have been treated ns advised. Mr Trio.-. Stevens. The noted sweet pea raiser and exhibitor, says he has had them cut and packed for 20 hours, and they have, turned ..ii;, in perfect condition. Use Hat hampers, sufficiently largo to hold 12 bunches and tint more than one layer, and if thev h.-ive to be sent instead of carried, they should be packed fairly firm, to prevent them shifting about, or they will be bruised. If tne weather be hot, it is best to line the baskets with glazed paper. It the weather or the. flowers be damp, then use soft tissue paper. On arrival at destination the flowers should be carefully taken out. the strings iut, and the blooms placed loosely in water as quickly as possible. They will soon freshen up. There will then be time to arrange the flowers it, a leisurely manner without- the, need of worry lest any should spoil whilst I the others are being staged. I have I penned the above lor my amateur friends | who may have good peas, and who would | like to show them at our Dunedin Uarna- | tion and Sweet Pea Show to bn held i next week. 'This also applies to j anv other show they may desire to visit. It often happens that- through bad packing of flowers prizes are lost. The above method of packing was adopted by Mr Thomas Stevens. j " C.” purchased a maidenhair fern at the last Passe Show, which was then a grad plant, but since has slowly gone bark and is withering, although it G in a conservatory. The soil in the pot is hard. Could 1 suggest, what is the cause and a remedy? I'should say your plant has suffered in two ways—namely, not nearly sufficient water, and too much light, and verv likely 100 much air. The foct of tne soil' in the pot being hard proves con-| cinsively that it has not received nearly j sufficient water. Ferns (especially maiden- j hair) must have lots of water. Never j allow them to get diy. One thorough dry- j ing whilst- the fronds are young and j tender would be sufficient to destroy the | niant. Then, again, 1 f the plant had been placed in an ordinary glasshouse, with the hot sun shining upon it. that would be sufficient to tarn the fronds brown, ns j jm doubt it had been grown in shade, : Neither can they stand too much ventila- ; tion; that is, front or direct ventilation, a ; cold draught, or hot current of air. What ; maidenhair ferns generally require is j shade, a moist atmosphere, and plenty of j moisture at the roots. Of enure*?, tomekinds of maidenhair require move heat than ethers—some stove or hothouse treatment, others a cool greenhouse, and some nearly hardy—but all must have moisture. They should not become dry at anv time. Give your plant two or three waterings at intervals of one- hour to thoroughly moisten the sod, keep it moist, and give shade. It the pot is small, pot it on at once from a din to a 6in rx>t : it hat is, if the pot is full of roots;, in a • soil turfy loam 5 parts, leaf mould 2 parts, sharp sand 1 pan. with a dusting I of wood ashes. Give plenty of drainage. “ Potato.” —You have a gix>d number i of potatoes, Both early and late, hut your i early potato tops have been all eaten I down with some blight (leaf enclosed). I \ wish you had placed the leaf in a. little I box —a tin matchbox would have done—so that I could see what it was like. As it was, it came dried up like tinder, and quite brittle. In any rasa, as It is your early crop, I should advise you to cut off the tops at, once, and clear the ground and bum them, or dig a deep hole and miry them. The potatoes will mature in the "ground, although they will not grow larger, with the tope off. If the tubers show signs of disease, or if wet weather seta in, lift them. .In any case, I should not leave them in the ground too long, or they may start to sprout. Do not cut the tops of the late varieties. If they are affected, send me a decent-sized leal in a tin. bo that f can see what is the trouble. “Londoner” writes;— Seeing that, the autumn sowing of sweet peas is generally recommended, I write to you to get. your advice a* to the most suitable varieties to grow in this locality, preferably nonburning ones, and also as to whether 1 can purchase their, locally.—More satisfactory results are obtained from the autumn. Bowing of sweet peas. In -an-s-wea-lug the question about the purchasing of soeda. I believe our leading seed firms havo just landed a moat comprehensive and up-to-

'■ date collection of seeds, and, I think, r could supply almost ’any variety. As to * the varieties you wish to sow, I find there . are such largo numbers of charming kinds - and shades and forms to choose from that • some difficulty is experienced in making a selection. 1 'should recommend that you : visit ilie forthcoming Carnation and Sweet i Pea Show next week and make a selection there of the more up-to-date sorts. 1 though I will name a few of the leading kinds. I would suggest that you grow the ’ following for certain, as they stand the 1 sun fairly well:—King White (white), C. W. Bread mo re (cream picotee), Hercules (pink), Edith Taylor (carmine rose). Maud , Holmes (crimson). King Manuel (maroon). Queen of (Norway (mauve). It. F. Felton (lavender). Rosebud (rose), Robert Sydenham (the latest salmon, sup- ! ]»osrd to stand the full stin without fading). If you would care to go to'a little extra ■ trouble and expense in erecting shads for them 1 should recommend the inclusion of Agricola. Dobbin's Cream, Evelyn I Eyre. Illuminator, Quaker Maid, Mrs i ATII'.'.-rick. Margaret Atlce, and many :■ others. H.C.

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GARDENING FOR THE WEEK, Issue 15708, 23 January 1915

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GARDENING FOR THE WEEK Issue 15708, 23 January 1915

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