GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
If any of the stove plants, as lately recommended, have been brought
into the conservatory, they will require a free admission of air at
every favourable opportunity to keep the atmosphere of the house dry.
The plants must be kept clear
of decaying leaves and flowers. Some
judgment is also required in watering recently repotted plants, that
they may not be injured by saturation in cloudy weather, nor by drought
in hot sunny days.
The growth of twiners should be carefully regulated, allowing them
sufficient freedom to develope their natural habits as far as other
considerations will permit.
Continue to shift the hardwooded plants as they require it. A turfy
compost of three-parts sandy heath soil of a fibrous and rather lumpy
character, and one-part loam, will suit the majority. Particular
attention should be paid to the drainage, more especially to the crock
at the bottom; for if that is flat, and not hollow, it matters but
little how much depth of drainage material rests upon it, the soil will
soon become saturated and sour. Remember that the final shift should be
given in good time to those intended to flower in the autumn.
Calceolarias (Herbaceous).--Sow seeds; the compost to be equal parts of
peat or leaf mould, loam, and rotten dung, with a small portion of sand.
Place a layer of broken crocks two inches thick at the bottom of the
pot; then fill up within half an inch of the rim with the compost,
passed through a fine seive. After the pot has been gently struck on the
potting-bench to settle the soil, the surface must then be made level
with a flat piece of wood, or the bottom of a small garden pan or
saucer. Sprinkle the seeds regularly over the surface, do not cover with
soil, and water with a fine rose; then to be placed in a cold frame, and
be kept shaded from the sun.
Chorozema.--The beauty of this genus for early spring display is
generally appreciated, and, therefore, requires no commendation from
me. They delight, like most other New Holland plants, in sandy peat
containing plenty of fibre, and require plenty of air at all times, and
also to be kept constantly moist, but never very wet. A large pot and
frequent stopping will soon produce a fine specimen.
Chrysanthemums.--Continue to top the plants that have been planted out
in the open ground.
Epacris.--The varieties of this genus are most useful for the adornment
of the conservatory in early spring. They delight in fibrous peat,
broken rough, mixed with fine white sand. The young plants to be
frequently stopped by pinching off the points of the shoots while
growing, to induce them to throw out laterals; those again to be stopped
until the plants have attained a size sufficient to warrant their
Gardenias.--If any have been removed to the conservatory while in
bloom they should be returned to heat as soon as the bloom is over,
to encourage growth and to allow them sufficient time to mature their
Eutaxia myrtifolia.--It is a profuse and early bloomer. During the
summer and autumn every new shoot should be stopped as soon as it has
attained two or, at most, three joints: by such treatment it can be
easily formed into a neat, compact specimen.
Winter Flowers.--The Cinerarias, Chinese Primroses, Heliotropes,
Perpetual, Tea, and other Roses, will require frequent and diligent
attention as to watering, shifting, &c.
STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.
Give immediate and regular attention to the young stock of stove plants
intended for winter blooming. Keep up a moist temperature at all times;
with air during the day. When a few days of gloom occur, the humidity
that sometimes becomes stagnant and injurious should be dissipated by
a free circulation of air when bright weather returns. Keep a free
circulation of air amongst the Orchids by day; endeavour to supply an
abundance of atmospheric moisture during the latter part of the day; and
dispense with shading as much as possible by using it only during a few
hours of the hottest part of the day.
Pay every attention to specimen plants in the stove. Keep them neatly
tied to sticks, or trellises, as the case may require. Give them
a plentiful supply of water, and, if not in flower, syringe them
Stanhopeas.--About the end of this or the beginning of next month is the
most proper time to remove and repot them. Persons who wish to grow fine
specimens ought to put them in large baskets, or pots, so that they may
not require to be shifted for several years, as then the plants grow
much finer and flower better than when annually shifted. Now, as soon
as they have done flowering they commence growing, when they should
have plenty of heat and moisture until they have completed their
pseudo-bulbs, when they should be reduced to a comparative state of
rest by gradually withholding water until they show flower; then to
be supplied with atmospheric moisture, but should have no water at the
root, or at least but a small portion, until they begin to grow. As all
the plants belonging to this genus push their flowers downwards, it is
advisable to have them elevated, or put in baskets, where the flowers
can get through and show themselves to advantage.
Figs.--Supply with plenty of water the roots of the trees that are
swelling their second crop; ply the syringe frequently amongst the
foliage, and sprinkle the paths, &c., to keep the atmosphere moist.
Shut up early in the afternoon. As the fruit of the first crop ripens,
curtail the supply of atmospheric moisture--otherwise before they reach
maturity they are apt to turn mouldy. The roots to be regularly supplied
with water, and some liquid manure added about once a week to assist the
second crop. Keep down red spider by the application of sulphur in the
manner so frequently advised of late. Give the fruit that is ripening
the benefit of the sun, by fastening on one side the leaves that shade
Peaches.--The fruit will be all the more delicious for a comparatively
cool temperature while ripening. Examine the fruit daily, and gather
before it is overripe and loses its flavour.
Pines.--Maintain a good bottom heat, and encourage the growth of the
advancing crop by kindly humidity and allowing them plenty of air and
sufficient space from plant to plant. Give air, also, freely to
the young stock in dungpits, to secure strong stocky growth; but a
circulation should not be allowed by giving back and front air at the
same time during hot drying winds. Attend to former directions to
afford the plants swelling their fruit a moist atmosphere by frequent
syringings and by sprinkling the paths and every other available surface
until the fruit begins to change colour, when the atmosphere and soil
should be kept rather dry, to improve the fruit's flavour. See to the
stools from which fruit have been cut. Earth them up, so as to cause
suckers to strike root. Give them a brisk bottom heat, and proper
supplies of water. You will thus gain time and assistance for the
suckers from the declining strength of the parent plant as long as
possible. It is now a good time to start a lot into fruit, as they will
have two or three most favourable months for swelling, and will come
in at a season when they are in very general request. Keep the bark-bed
moderately moist, as in that state it will retain its heat much longer
than if it is allowed to get dry.
Vines.--Keep up a brisk heat to the late Grapes during the day, as it
is advisable to get them well ripened before the season gets too far
advanced. By such means they will be of better quality and keep longer
than if the ripening process be delayed to a later period. Do not allow
plants in pots to remain in the house to cause damp, which, despite
every care in ventilating, is apt to settle on the berries and spoil
them. The outside borders of the late houses should be watered and
mulched, if the weather continue dry.
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