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Gardeners Calendar

( Originally Published 1909 )



SUGGESTIONS AND REMINDERS OF WORK APPROPRIATE TO EACH MONTH

JANUARY

THERE will not be much doing in strictly gardening operations this month, but one can be getting ready for the actual work of spring.

Material for hot-beds and cold-frames can be got ready now. Everything can be done except putting them together. It is an excellent plan to paint them outside and in. If this is done, they will last for years, if it is not done, they will soon begin to decay from the effect of heat and moisture.

I would advise putting the frames together with screws. This will admit of your taking them apart easily, after their use for the season is over, without breaking or otherwise injuring them, and they can be piled away in small space until wanted again. If not taken apart, they will be quite sure to be broken, as, from their bulkiness, they will always be in the way no matter where you put them.

You can save something by buying your sash unglazed and putting in the glass at home. For this purpose use the prepared putty sold under the name of Mastica. It is soft and easily applied, but soon hardens, and will last much longer than ordinary putty, which is generally adulterated with whiting. Paint the sash well before glazing. If you do not, the putty will not adhere to it.

It will be found wise economy to use double-strength glass, for hot-bed and cold-frame sash. Look each pane over carefully when you pur-chase it, and reject those having spots and air-bubbles in them. These will act on the principle of a burning-glass, and focus the rays of the sun in such a manner that they will burn the plants beneath them.

Get manure together for spring use. It can be piled in little heaps about the garden. Cover it to protect from rain. Order your fertilizers now, if you propose to make use of any.

It is a good plan to order seeds early in the season. If you put off doing this until the season of gardening operations is opening, you may be disappointed in getting them when wanted, and you take the chances of getting a poorer quality.

Don't let the pages of the catalogues devoted to "novelties" tempt you into investing in new things. Not one "novelty" in a hundred is worth growing. Hold fast to the varieties whose merit has been amply proved.

Go over the garden tools and make what-ever repairs may be needed. It is a most vexatious thing to find that a garden tool, when you need it, is out of repair, and you must stop and put it in proper shape.

It is a good plan to give all woodwork about garden tools a coat or two of paint. They will last enough longer to make it richly worth while.

Racks and trellises can be made now. Posts for stringing wires on to support grape-vines, raspberries, and the like can be got ready now. Racks for tomatoes should be very substantially made, as they will have to sustain considerable weight.

Think out the work that will be upon you with a rush a little later, and do all of it that can be done in advance.

FEBRUARY

Hot-beds for very early plants can be made this month. See chapter on Hot-beds and Cold-Frames for directions.

Mushrooms can be grown at this season as well as any other if the proper degree of temperature can be maintained.

If the cellar supply of salsify and parsnip has run short, plants can be dug from the open ground with but little difficulty, if the snow is not deep. Chop down about the roots with an old axe, cutting the frozen earth away as if it were wood. The roots will generally come out whole and uninjured, if you work carefully.

If potatoes, cabbages, and other vegetables have been stored in pits, they can be got at safely, on pleasant days, if care is taken to bank up the opening well afterward. Vegetables kept in this way will be found to have a most delicious flavor after having eaten cellar-stored ones for several months.

Pruning of all kinds of fruit-trees is now in order. Let your knife be sharp, that it may make a smooth cut. It is well to go over the cut surface with a coat of good paint, immediately after pruning.

Look over the vegetables in the cellar and remove all that show the least indication of decay. This will be for the benefit of the remaining vegetables, as well as for the health of the family.

This is a good time of the year in which to draw up your garden plans. Don't be satisfied with the first plan. Look it over sharply and see if it cannot be improved. Plan for economy of space as well as labor. Too many gardens are simply jumbled together. No attention is given to orderly arrangement. The result is unsatisfactory from all points of view. Study up on the habits of the plants you intend to grow, and locate them in such a manner that there will be no interference between them, as they develop. This can easily be done if you give the matter a little careful consideration.

MARCH

Hot-bed making will now be in order. Do the work carefully, if you want good results.

Get the cold-frames ready for the reception of plants from the hot-bed as soon as they are in a condition to make the change. The longer a plant is left in the hot-bed after it is ready for the cold-frame, the less strength it will have.

Give the hot-bed close attention after seed is sown in it. After the plants are up, open the sash just a little, in pleasant weather, to let moisture escape which has gathered on the glass. But do not keep it open for more than a minute or two at a time, and never open it when the wind blows from a quarter that will let it strike on the plants, unless you can shield them from the draught.

If water is to be given, apply it from a pot having a fine-spray nozzle, and let it be of the temperature of the air inside the hot-bed. Use as little as possible. Aim to keep the soil moist, not wet.

If the snow has gone, boxes and barrels can be placed about clumps of rhubarb to encourage an early growth. Bank up about them with horse-manure. Cover the barrels or boxes at night. In fact, keep them covered, day and night, until the plants begin to grow.

If you cannot have a hot-bed, plants can be started in boxes in the living-room. They will not do as well as in the hot-bed, but, with careful management, they can be forced to make a fairly healthy growth. Care must be taken to give only enough water to keep the soil moist, but, on no account, must it be allowed to get dry, for that would mean the loss of your seedlings. Apply water with a fine sprayer. A stream would be likely to wash some of the plants out of the ground. Aim to keep the temperature as even as possible, ranging from 65° to 700 by day, and about 1o° lower at night. Do not fail to admit fresh air to the room daily. This can be done safely, on cold days, by opening a door or window at some distance from the plants, and letting the outdoor air become warm before it reaches them, by mixing with the air of the room. Expose the plants to all the sunshine possible. The principal danger in growing seedlings in the living-room comes from excessive heat, too much moisture in the soil, and too little in the air of the room. Keep basins of water constantly evaporating on the stove. Sprinkle about the plants, but do not throw any water on them.

It is well to keep these plants in a room adjoining that in which there is fire heat, after the second or third week, as they will do better there than in a warmer place. The aim is to give them a good start-off without forcing them. A forced growth is always an unhealthy one, remember. In too hot a room they grow up weak and spindling, and are generally so lacking in vital force that plants grown from seed sown in the open ground a month or six weeks later are almost sure to get ahead of them before they have recovered from the check of transplanting.

It is a most excellent plan to put these plants out of doors on warm, sunshiny days, for two or three hours during the middle of the day, if they can be given a place sheltered from the wind. Be sure to bring them in before the temperature begins to fall, as it will about three o'clock, or perhaps earlier.

Cabbages which have been wintered in pits can be taken out now, their outside leaves cut away, and the heads stored in the cellar for immediate use. It is not safe to leave them where the water from the upper soil will get to them.

APRIL

If currants and gooseberries were not trimmed in fall, go over the bushes now and cut out all weak wood. If it is thick, thin it considerably. Manure liberally.

All kinds of small fruit can be set out as soon as the ground is in good working condition. But do not be in too great a hurry, and plant it in mud.

Unleached wood-ashes and bone meal, mixed, make an excellent manure for garden crops and small fruit. Do not fail to make use of it if you are short on barn-yard fertilizer. Apply a top dressing of it to grapes, currants and gooseberries early in the season.

Peas should be sown after the middle of the month, if the soil is in a condition to warrant.

The hardier kinds of garden vegetables can be put into the ground the latter part of the month, along the central and southern portion of the northern states, if the season has not been cold and backward. If it has, it is better to wait a little. Nothing is gained by being in too much of a hurry. Often all is lost and all has to be done over.

Remove the winter mulching from the strawberry bed. Make new beds, if you did not set out plants last year. Work the ground over thoroughly, and use only strong, vigorous plants. It pays to buy your plants from the dealer, rather than to pick them up all over the neighborhood. You have to buy them, if you want to be sure o t what you are planting.

Seedlings can be transplanted from hot-bed to cold-frame. Remove the sashes daily from the latter, to harden off the plants in them.

Plow the garden, or spade it, as soon as the ground is rid of surplus moisture.

MAY

The cultivator will have to be used extensively this month, for weeds start early in the season, and we must get (and keep) ahead.

Sow dandelion for future use, as soon as its seed ripens.

Insects must be watched carefully now. It is a good plan to sift dry wood-ashes over such plants as cabbage, radish, potato, cucumber and squash, to prevent the flea-beetle from establishing himself there. The Colorado beetle is often found on potato plants as soon as they appear above the ground.

Never loose sight of the fact that a little work done now will save a good deal of hard work later on.

Stake and tie up all vines that require such attention before much growth has been made.

Go over newly-set strawberry beds and pick off every fruit-stalk. Force the strength of the plant into the development of itself, rather than that of fruit, which it is not in a condition to mature satisfactorily.

Begin the use of the wheel-hoe as soon as the plants in the row are large enough to enable you to tell them from weeds. This implement and the cultivator must be kept going daily, even if there are few weeds to get rid of. Stir-ring the soil is a matter of almost as great importance as keeping the weeds down.

JUNE

Do not cut asparagus much after this month. Apply fertilizer, and keep the ground clean and open. Be on the lookout for "rust." If you see any indication of it, apply Bordeaux mixture at once.

Look out for worms among currants. A little neglect may result in the loss of the entire crop.

Set out celery for the main crop.

Use Bordeaux mixture on the grapes. Thin out the fruit, leaving not more than half that sets. Rub off all but the branches you intend for next year's fruiting. Keep the ground about the vines well stirred.

If a shiny black and green bug threatens to injure your melons, cucumbers, and squashes, make a sort of box of fine wire netting and place it over the plants. Bank up soil about it to prevent the enemy from working its way under.

Transplanted seedlings will need shading until they became established in their new quarters. I make a protection against the sun by cutting circular pieces of thick brown paper, a- foot across. This I double over on one side, in such a manner as to give the paper a sort of funnel shape. Through the doubled-over portion I run a stick or wire, about a foot in length. This holds the cone in place, and the lower end of the stick or wire can be thrust into the ground, close to the plant needing protection Thus I get all the shade required without shutting off a free circulation of air.

Go over the strawberry beds and nip off all the early runners. Allow none to grow until after the season's crop of fruit has ripened.

Cultivate, cultivate, cultivate.

Be constantly on the outlook for all kinds of worms and insects, and wage relentless warfare against them, for now is the time when they do most damage to the garden.

Thin out the seedlings in the garden-rows, leaving only as many plants there as you think can be matured properly. Do not neglect to do this, at once, as you cannot afford to have the nutriment of the soil wasted on plants you have no use for.

JULY

July work will be largely a continuance of the work of June. Special suggestions will hardly be needed for it. The careful gardener will keep his eyes open and see what needs doing, and do it promptly, and thus be always abreast of his work if not ahead of it.

If the season should be a dry and hot one, mulching will be advisable. Grass-clippings from the lawn can be used to good advantage about all garden vegetables.

I would not advise one to begin watering the garden, unless there is a system of water-works that can be pressed into use. Not much can be done in the ordinary garden by watering from the well. You would have to give up all your time to it if you were to attempt this. Generally more harm than good results. You will apply only water enough to wet the surface of the soil, and it is the roots down deep in the ground that need moisture. Surface-watering encourages the production of surface roots, and you do not want that kind of growth. I would prefer to let the plants take their chances without such watering. But mulching is practicable and profitable.

Old straw or hay make a very satisfactory mulch. It should be put on quite thick—thick enough to thoroughly shade the ground and prevent the escape of moisture from the soil below.

But the use of the cultivator should be depended on to counteract the effects of drought, more than anything else. Stir the soil so frequently that it does not have a chance to crust over. Keep it in a condition to absorb every least little bit of moisture that may be in the air. If this is done, most plants will stand a dry spell without injury.

As soon as the radishes are out of the way, sow the ground they occupied to spinach or something that can be made use of as greens. Never let any portion of the garden go to waste.

AUGUST

Asparagus plants are now storing up material for next season's crop. Feed them well by giving a liberal top-dressing of fine manure, or some reliable commercial fertilizer. See that no weeds are allowed to grow among the plants.

Right here I want to say that the average gardener seems to lose a good deal of interest in a plant as soon as the crop of the season has been secured from it. This is all wrong. If it is a plant that lasts over the season, like asparagus or rhubarb, treat it with a view to the future. Have next season's crop in mind, and so care for the plants that they will be getting ready for it. This they cannot do satisfactorily if care is not given them throughout the season, year after year.

If you think it advisable to grow your own seed, save some of the earliest of each kind for this particular purpose. It is a good plan to hold a plant in reserve for seed-bearing, and give it the very best of treatment. Do not let it exhaust itself by overbearing. Pick off all the seed that forms after the first crop, and throw the entire strength of the plant into the perfecting of that. This is the only way in which extra fine seed can be grown by the home gardener. Too many amateurs seem to think that seed is seed, and it does not matter much how you come by it. But they will find, if they continue in the gardening business long, that plants from seed which has not been grown with a view to making it the best of its kind will soon " run out," and give most unsatisfactory results.

Now is the time to pinch off the ends of the blackberry canes, and induce the production of side branches.

The earlier varieties of cabbage should be disposed of as soon as they are thoroughly matured, and the ground on which they grew given up to some other crop.

Set out celery for a late crop.

As soon as the earlier plantings of celery begin to make upward growth, begin preparations for blanching, either by earthing up about the plants, or by setting boards up each side the row. Some do this by wrapping the plants with thick brown paper. Others set a piece of drain-tile over the plants. This is an excellent plan, if one has plenty of tile at disposal.

Keep the late crops of celery going rapidly ahead by thorough cultivation. The more rapid its growth the more likely you will be to secure a fine article. Slow-growing celery is a poor investment.

If you want your cucumbers to keep on bearing late in the season it will be necessary to see that no fruit is allowed to ripen. All the energy of the plant will be used up in the development of seed, if you allow it to have its own way. But interfere with it by preventing it from perfecting seed and it will at once set about making another effort to carry out Nature's plan of perpetuation, and, in doing this, it will keep on setting new fruit until frost comes.

Now is a good time to make currant cuttings.

Keep endive plants growing thriftily by the liberal use of manure and good cultivation.

Lettuce can be sown for a late crop.

Gooseberries can be grown from cuttings, but layering will be found the safest and surest method of propagation. Select shoots which start from near the base of the old plants. Bend them clown so that they will form a curve whose centre can be covered with earth, and at the lowest part of this curve make a half-way cut- through each shoot, from below. Then cover to the depth of two or three inches. Fasten the shoots firmly in place, so that they cannot be shifted about by winds. This can be done by pinning them to the soil, or a small stone can be placed on the earth with which they are covered. The extremity of the shoot should be trained into upright position by tying it to a small stake. Do not sever the layer from the parent plant until next season.

Harvest the onions which have begun to ripen off. You can tell this by the dying of their tops. Let the bulbs lie on the ground, exposed to full sunshine, for several days before storing them away. Put in a cool, dry, airy place.

Sow spinach for a late crop.

Look to the tomatoes. Make sure they are not setting more fruit than they can mature well. If you think they are, cut off the ends of each vine. This will force them to expend all the strength of the plant on the fruit already set, and the result will be vastly more satisfactory than a crop of inferior fruit. In this way we grow very large specimens, of finest possible quality. If no racks have been provided for your plants, set some stakes along the row, and nail strips to them about a foot and a half from the ground, and put the vines over them. This will allow a freer circulation of air and have a tendency to prevent rot from setting in, as it almost always will late in the season, if the vines of this plant are allowed to spread over the ground, shutting the sunshine away from the partially grown fruit and keeping it moist.

If there are lice on your cabbages, make prompt use of the kerosene emulsion. You need not be afraid of its injuring the plants in any way, and no poisoning can possibly result from it. Worms on cabbages can be controlled by dusting the plants with air-slaked lime.

If your celery does not seem to be making a satisfactory growth, it is possible that the manure you have applied was not to its liking. A little nitrate of soda worked into the soil along the row will make a great difference in its appearance, in a short time, in a good many soils. It is well worth your while to try it, and harm cannot come of it if, no benefit results. Keep all experiments of this kind in mind for future repetition in case they turn out successfully.

If "rust" has struck your asparagus plants, cut and burn them at once. Very likely none would have developed if you had made use of Bordeaux mixture as soon as the plants began to look yellow. When any plant takes on a yellow look before it is time for it to ripen, you may be sure there is something wrong, somewhere. Search for the cause of trouble, and see if something cannot be done to remedy matters.

It is not too late to spray potatoes for blight and rot. These troubles are likely to set in at any time during the season. It is the late blight which does the most damage.

Strawberry plants can be set out this month. Mulch the beds as soon as possible after planting. Give the plants a chance to do well, from the start, and you may reasonably expect a good crop from them next season.

SEPTEMBER

This is the month in which the amateur gardener will be most likely to get the greatest amount of pleasure from his garden. This because there are so many substantial results in the way of vegetables and fruit, showing what can be accomplished with but little trouble if one goes to work in the right way.

In this connection I want to quote a paragraph from the "National Fruit-Grower : " What a pitiful sight it is to see a woman so hungry for a little fruit that she will drag herself through briars and bushes all day to gather a few quarts of blackberries, or wild gooseberries, when, for a few cents and a little use of spare time, her husband could have provided plenty of both at home, of a quality so much superior to the small flavorless fruit she tires herself out looking for that she would hardly recognize the two specimens as belonging to the same family. Frankly, we haven't much of an opinion of a man who is too blind to his own interests, and the interests of his family, to not have a garden and all the small fruits his family can make use of."

September will prove to any man who is open to conviction that a good garden, and a small-fruit plantation, are among the best of all investments it is possible for him to make. He can live on the fat of the land now. Every-thing of the best and freshest in the vegetable line is at his disposal, and if he grows his own grapes, blackberries and other fruits, he is an independent man, and he has reason to be proud of his riches. He has no need to envy the man who has a great bank account. His garden is his bank—not on a very large scale, perhaps, but one that is not likely to fail, and from which he will realize compound interest on his investments in it. I wish every amateur gardener, at this time of the year, would think the matter over, and "take stock" of his wealth in garden stuff.

The tops of asparagus can be mowed off, to prevent the scattering of seed, which will produce a set of plants that you will have no use for. New beds can be made now.

Do not cultivate among blackberries and other small fruit after this month. Continued cultivation encourages continued growth. Late growth of branches is very undesirable.

Sow cress, for fall use in salads. Its pungent flavor is delightful. Make the soil rich, to insure a speedy growth.

Continue to give careful attention to the, late-crop celery. Save the "suds " of washing-day, and use along the rows. In blanching with boards, see that they are set close to the plants, and make sure that they are wide enough to reach to the tops of the plants, when the latter have reached full development. Anything narrower than that will result in half-way blanching, for unless light is excluded from all but the tips of the plants they will be tough and strong-flavored.

Continue the fight with the weeds. It will be well to make a special search for them. Let none perfect seed. If this policy is adhered to, throughout the season, next year there will be few weeds to fight.

Gather seed of such vegetables as you have grown for this particular purpose.

Harvest your peppers before the frost gets a chance at them.

Be sure to protect the squashes from frost if you want them to keep well. If they do not seem to have thoroughly ripened, cover them at night with blankets, or old newspapers. When they have every appearance of being ripe, gather them, and store in a warm, dry place. Handle them with extreme care, for every bruise means decay, later on. Do not cut away the stalks which attaches them to the vine. Save this with them, if you want them to keep well.

Gather in the onion crop as soon as the tops turn brown and crinkle down. Pull them, leave them on the beds, in the sun, for two or three days, and then "top" them, and store away in a cool and airy place.

This is a good time of the year to think about making a compost-bed. Most gardeners allow a great deal of good material to go to waste simply because they have no place to keep it in. You will be surprised to find what an amount of excellent fertilizer is thrown away, after you have had a compost-bed for a year or two. Make a pen in a corner of the garden, and throw into it everything of a vegetable nature that will decay readily. Rake up the leaves from the lawn and add to it. If you get a little extra manure, at any time, dump it in. Stir frequently, with a fork, and thoroughly saturate it, on every washing-day, with soap-suds. When you clear up the garden in fall, put all the stalks and other refuse into the compost-heap. ln this way you will soon have a lot of good, rich soil without its costing you anything but a little labor. It is a good plan to add sand to it, muck, old sods, from time to time,—anything that will become fine and mellow after being worked over with other material. The compost-heap will give you just the kind of soil you need for early seed-sowing, and hot-bed use.

Sweet potatoes should be dug as soon as the frost has killed their tops. Dry off well in the sun, for two or three days, and store in a warm place, or pack in dry sand. Be sure that it is very dry, if you would have the tubers keep well. Home-grown ones that have thoroughly ripened will be found to be of much finer flavor than those which were dug while partially green, and have come a long distance to market.

OCTOBER

Potatoes should be dug this month. Reject any tuber which is not perfectly healthy. It is a good plan to grade them, as you gather them, that is, throw out all not large enough for cooking purposes. It doesn't pay to store away any that are too small for household use. Better give them to the chickens, or the pigs.

Many successful growers of the strawberry make a practice of burning over their beds this month, first mowing them. It certainly does some good, for all larvæ of worms and insects will be gotten rid of by it, and if there are no weeds in the beds there will not be material enough for the fire to feed on to do any damage.

Winter mulching of strawberries should be done about the time the ground is likely to freeze, but not before. If put on too early, the plants may make a late growth, especially if the weather is warm. Leaves are excellent material for this purpose, if you can get enough of them. The only objection to them is that they are so easily blown away. This difficulty can be remedied, however, by putting a light covering of hay or straw over the leaves.

Go over the garden and give it a thorough cleaning-up before cold weather sets in. The gardener who takes pride in his garden in summer ought to have pride in it in winter. Make the ground perfectly clean. Remove every rack and trellis. Store them away under shelter. In short, leave nothing out-doors that belongs under cover.

Pits for potatoes and other vegetables are easily made. Select for them a location that is high and dry. A well-drained spot is absolutely necessary. If you cannot have one that has the best of drainage, don't attempt to have a pit.

In making the pit, dig down for a foot and. a half into the soil. Lay down some boards, as a sort of floor, and spread clean dry straw over them to the depth of five or six inches. Put your vegetables on this. Do not put enough into the pit to bring the top above the level of the ground. When it is filled, spread dry straw over the vegetables—a foot or more of it, or leaves, if you have them, to the depth of six or eight inches-being careful to make it even, and to see that there are no openings in it. Then cover with earth. Put on all that was thrown out of the pit, heaping it up well in the centre. Pack it down firmly. It is well to cover the pit with boards, or something that will have a tendency to shed rain. If the earth is properly put on, and is made high in the centre, it is not likely that water will work through, but one cannot be too sure that it will not, and water in a pit means disaster.

Cabbages can be wintered to perfection by the trench system. Dig a trench a foot or a foot and a half in depth, in the dryest part of the garden. Let it be a little wider than the heads you propose to bury there. Select for this purpose the soundest heads you have. Do not trim them. Simply fold the outside leaves as firmly as possible over the head. Put six or eight inches of straw in the bottom of the trench and set the cabbages on it, head down-ward. Then put more straw about them, and throw back the soil from the trench. If there is not enough to cover the roots of the plants, it will not matter. You are not covering them to keep out the frost. Nail two boards together to make a sort of roof, and put these over the trench to shed rain. You will find that cabbages kept in this manner will come out in spring in fine condition. If frozen when removed from the trench, put them in a cool place where the frost will leave them gradually, or, if for immediate use, immerse the head in cold water. If you put them where it is warm immediately after removal from the pit, they will wilt, and if there is a poorer vegetable than a wilted cabbage I don't know what it is.

Parsnips, salsify, and turnips can be wintered safely in pits.

Prepare cold-frames for late celery. Let them be deep enough to accommodate the plant without bending down its top. Bank up about them with earth. Get sashes ready for them. About the last of the month take up the plants from the garden, and pack them away snugly inside the frame. Crowd them together, in fact. Then water well. Do not put on the sash right away, unless the weather is very cold. You can throw a blanket over the frame at night to prevent freezing.

NOVEMBER

Go over the blackberries and raspberries, and make sure that all old wood has been removed before you lay your plants down for the winter. Choose a pleasant day for laying your plants down. If the weather is cold and raw, the probabilities are that you will not do a very thorough job. But never lose sight of the fact that it pays to be thorough.

Spinach can be kept until Christmas if given a light protection of leaves or litter.

Lettuce in cold-frames will need plenty of air. The temperature ought to be about 55°. -More harm is done by keeping the plants too warm than too cold. On cold nights, cover the sash with mats or shutters. Air daily. -

Do not forget that mushrooms can be grown at any season of the year, if you can control temperature.

Dig salsify and parsnips and store those wanted for early use in the cellar. The main crop I would advise storing in pits. Some can be left in the ground, for spring use.

I do not know whether anyone but myself has ever tried wintering the parsnip in such a manner that it will wilt, without really drying up, but I am of the opinion that it is greatly improved. The juices of the plant seem to be condensed, and thereby gain a sweetness which a perfectly fresh, plump root does not have. I found this out accidentally, but ever since we have stored away a portion of our parsnips on racks where they will wither a trifle, but not become really dry, and every one in the family declares them far better than those taken right from the ground or pit. Try this plan, and see what you think of it.

The garden may be plowed now. Do not attempt to level the ground. Leave it in ridges, so that frost can get at it easily.

Give rhubarb and asparagus a good top dressing of fine manure, and then cover with coarse litter. Take up a few plants and put them in a box, for winter forcing. Or, if there is room for them, give them a place in the cold-frame. The cellar, however, will be the best place for them, if you can give them light.

DECEMBER

There will be little to do this month in connection with the garden, if everything was given the attention it deserved last month. It may be well to go over it again, and make a final clearing-up, however, to make sure that nothing was left undone.

Let me caution the reader as to the care of the cellar in which vegetables are stored. See that it is so well banked that frost cannot penetrate it. But make ample provision for ventilation. Have a pipe or wooden tube connected with one of the windows in such a manner that the air will be drawn from the cellar through it. This will not only help to keep the vegetables in good condition, but will possibly prevent sickness in the family, if the cellar happens to be under the living-rooms. Decaying vegetable matter often gives rise to fevers and other dangerous diseases. If an outlet for foul gases is provided, this source of danger will be removed.



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