Guernsey Lily (nerine Sarniense)
Though in some parts of our country Figs are cropped onstandards, as a rule they require to be trained on a wall having a
southern exposure. The soil should be a fairly good loam mixed with
old mortar and crushed bones, but no manure is needed. The end of
March or the beginning of April is the most favourable time for
planting. The trees should be firmly set, and the surface of the soil
kept moist until they are established. Manure may be given--preferably
in a liquid state--when heavy crops of fruit are being borne. Old and
exhausted wood may be cut away in April, but the knife must be used
sparingly. The branches should be trained to a distance of 10 in.
apart, and the fruit-bearing shoots may be pinched back with the thumb
and finger at the end of August. The fruit is borne on the previous
year's growth. They may be increased by layers, by suckers, or by
cuttings of the young wood placed in sand and plunged in a bottom-heat
under glass. Brown Turkey, Black Ischia, Yellow Ischia, White
Marseilles, Brunswick, and St John's are all good varieties for
open-air cultivation, or for growing in houses.
When grown under glass, Figs may be trained on trellises near the roof
of the house, or may be planted in tubs or pots, not allowing too much
root-room. At starting the temperature in the day should be about 60
degrees, and at night 55 degrees. More heat can be given as the plants
advance, keeping up a moist atmosphere, but taking care not to give
too much water to the roots. By pinching off the points of the shoots
when they have made five or six leaves a second crop of fruit will
be obtained. Use the knife upon them as little as possible. When the
fruit begins to ripen admit air, and as soon as it is gathered give
liquid manure to the roots every other day to encourage a second crop.
When the plants are at rest they need hardly any water.
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