Indoor Gardening

Thrid Week

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY. As many of the hard-wooded plants are impatient of fire heat and a confined atmosphere, it is advisable to use no more artificial heat than is absolutely necessary. The drying effects of fire heat must be counteracted by a supply of

moisture; the moisture becomes condensed on the glass and falls in drips, that are apt to spoil the beauty of the flowers, and to injure the foliage of the plants. The best corrective for such unfavourable results is to be found in keeping the temperature as low as may be consistent with the safety of the plants, and in withholding moisture as much as possible whenever the glass is affected by frost. See that the young stock of Heliotropes, Scarlet Geraniums, Persian Cyclamens, and other such flowers, that are grown especially for winter, are accommodated with a light, airy situation, and receive regular attention as regards watering. Avoid watering the Pelargoniums until they are thoroughly dry, and keep down insects. STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE. The plants in the stove should be kept as quiet as possible, and only just sufficient water given to keep them from flagging, to be accompanied with a moderately low temperature; about 60 deg. by day, and 50 deg. by night, the object being to prevent them from growing before the spring of the year. Admit air when it can be done safely, but do not expose the plants to cold, frosty winds at any time. As our collections of Orchids are from countries with different seasons of growth, and various kinds of temperature and climate, it is difficult to cultivate in one house a miscellaneous collection of them so satisfactorily as where there are two divisions, the one commanding a higher temperature, with more moisture, than the other. Where there is no such division, advantage may be taken of a forcing-pit, or other such house, to which any of them now in a growing state may be removed, and thus their growth may be promoted without injury to the general collection. For the general collection a drier atmosphere and lower temperature are now desirable, as no plants are more benefited by a season of rest than Orchids. FORCING-HOUSES. All Vines, Peaches, and Figs in Pots, or Tubs, to be secured from frost and wet. A fermenting body in a forcing vinery is an excellent plunging medium for such of these as are wanted very early. Keep up a succession of Asparagus, French Beans, Rhubarb, Sea-kale, &c., according to the demand. Cucumbers.--Thin out the fruit occasionally, more especially if too many appear at one time. If any plants have been bearing some time, and now appear nearly exhausted, they may be rallied into vigour again by a judicious pruning and thinning, and by the application of a top dressing of leaf mould or other such rich, light soil, and of liquid manure occasionally. Peaches.--A moist heat, arising from dung or leaves, is as beneficial to Peach trees as to Vines before they break, but as it can but rarely be made use of, in consequence of the difference in the structure of the interior, moisture must be supplied by other means, such as syringing and sprinkling the flues, or pipes, when warm. A few trees, in pots, are useful for early forcing, as they can be easily plunged in a pit or any other convenient place where a mild regular bottom heat can be supplied. The trees for this purpose must have been grown and established for some time in pots. Pines.--A regular heat, both bottom and atmospheric, to be kept up to carry the general stock of fruiting plants safely through the winter. A high and close temperature to be avoided in the management of the succession plants. Strawberries.--If ripe fruit is wanted very early, some of the strongest plants, if treated as advised, should now be selected, and placed in a pit where they can get a gentle bottom heat, or on the back or front shelf of a vinery or Peach-house, just started for forcing, to be placed near the glass with a free admission of air on fine days. Vines.--It is advisable, when beginning to force, to commence with a low temperature--say, 55 deg. by day and 50 deg. by night, to be increased 5 deg. more until they break, when it may be raised to 60 deg. at night, and 65 deg. in the day, or thereabouts, allowing a rise of a few degrees by sun heat. The Vines to be syringed evening and morning until they break, and the walls and floor kept damp. If the stems of the Vines are near the flues, or pipes, wrap moss over that part, and keep it constantly moist. The Vines in the late houses to be pruned, the loose bark to be removed, and the scale, if visible, to be banished by an application of the Gishurst Compound, or by the more ancient composition of sulphur, soft soap, and tobacco water. Where the fruit is ripe, a little fire heat will be necessary in frosty weather to prevent the vapour that adheres to the glass on the inside being frozen, for the moisture on thawing is apt to drop upon the bunches causing injury to the bloom, and decay to the berries.

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