Gardening Articles

For Handling Plants

In addition to the above there are a number of other devices often convenient to use. Brackets, frequently make possible the accommodation of a number of extra plants and show them off to the best advantage, especially vines and drooping plants. They are readily

secured by screws to the window casing. Pot-hangers, can be had for a few cents each and used to convert pots of any size into "Hanging baskets." They very often solve the problem of what to do with a choice plant that is beginning to take up too much room. Pot-covers, made of water-proof material are now to be had in a great assortment of styles and colors and are very useful, especially in connection with potted plants used as gifts. Plant-stakes. Often any old stake is used for supporting drooping plants, such as fuchsias. A much better one can easily be made by taking a round stick, say one-half or three-fourths of an inch in diameter and boring small holes through it with a gimlet. Stout pieces of wire, of a size that will fit snugly are inserted and twisted once around to reinforce the wood. These may then be bent readily to any angle and thus made to conform with needs of the particular plant being supported. If one has a soldering outfit, the main stake may be made of heavy wire. Raffia. This may be bought cheaply at the florist's and is much better than twine for tying up plants and similar purposes, as it is soft and broad--a dried, ribbon-like grass. It may be had stained green and with green stakes makes the support of a plant practically invisible. Syringe. If only a few plants are kept, a rubber bulb plant sprinkler may do for syringing them. But if one wants to combat insects and keep plants healthy with the least trouble, a small florist's brass syringe will prove a good investment. With ordinary care they will last a lifetime. It will also be useful for applying insecticides in liquid form. Fertilizers. In addition to the chemicals, etc., described in Chapter III, there are to be had concentrated plant foods in tablet form. These are very convenient to use, and a box kept on hand will frequently prove useful. If any number of plants are kept, however, an old metal pail and a small dipper, for mixing and applying liquid manure, should have a place in the tool outfit and be used frequently. Never apply liquid manure when the soil is dry.

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