A Window Gardener's Calendar
( Originally Published 1923 )
The seasons' operations are set forth in the following paragraphs beginning with September, because that is the time when one's interest is naturally transferred from the outdoors garden. The preparations for winter bloom, then, begin with the arrival of the Dutch bulbs.
September — Start first set of Dutch bulbs and various types of narcissus — lift and repot house plants from frame the second week. The narcissus will bloom before Christmas; the tulips and hyacinths at Christmas time.
Continue planting at intervals of two weeks for succession; first, second, third and fourth sets of tulips may be found in La Reine, Yellow Prince, Rose Grisdelin, and Pottebakker types — Hyacinths, Ida, Baron van Thuyll, for earliest. Unnamed sorts are less expensive, and do just as well for later flower. Grow the white alba superbissima for Easter. Polyanthus narcissus are best for Christmas, and- the Trumpet types for later.
October — Lift chrysanthemums and start in the house. Last of the month plant Gladiolus Colvillei. Blushing Bride gladiolus flowers six weeks earlier than The Bride and rubra. The latter may be set in January for May flowers. Gladiolus require a gentle bottom heat to start growth quickly.
February — Take cuttings of Paris daisies, chrysanthemums, and begonias, for flowers in October and later.
Much expense may be saved if small greenhouse plants are bought at this season, and grown through the summer to maturity.
March — Sow Ostrich Plume chrysanthemums and Chaubaud's carnations, for flowers in October and later.
Carnations of this strain will bloom continuously throughout the winter.
April — Sow seeds of cinerarias for March flowers, and Chinese primrose seeds for Christmas flowers.
Cinerarias will flourish in spite of hot summer weather, if planted in a deep-framed pit slanting north with a muslin shade over the top.
May — Plant out in coldframe all house plants by the middle of the month.
Unpot plants and place in the earth in bottomless cardboard or wooden boxes. The plants will grow all the stronger for this, and the cardboard straight-jackets will check the roots from spreading.
June—For flowers in October and later, disbud chrysanthemums and roses until the middle of August. Pinch off outside shoots around forming azalea buds; the buds will be crowded and blast if you neglect this.
July—Sow calceolaria seed and buy Gloire de Lorraine begonia plants. The begonias will flower in December, the calceolarias in March.
Treat calceolaria the same as primrose and cineraria—the tall-growing hybrida type is the handsomest.
August—Pot Easter lilies and freesias; take cuttings from Paris daisies and heliotrope; sow cineraria again. The lilies and freesias will flower by Christmas; the others from January on.
By planting freesias among lilies or other slow-maturing flowers, they will bloom before the lilies, and break the monotony of waiting. If planted two inches deep, the nuisance of staking is avoided.