Gardening Articles

Its Opportunities

It cannot be said that America has yet reached the gardening age. There is no doubt, however, that the appreciation of flowers, and the liking for things horticultural in general, is growing rapidly. The stimulus that compels hundreds to turn with delight to

the joy in the creative work of growing things arises from a sound foundation. Comparatively few people, however, realize that this pleasure can be had by them around the entire circle of the months. They look forward to planting time in the spring and accept as inevitable the cessation of their gardening adventures with the first frost. It is to such people that the message of home glass must come as good tidings indeed. For them the gentle art of gardening under glass has seemed a distant and mysterious thing. Little indeed have they realized how easily it might be brought within reach; that instead of being an expensive luxury it would be by no means impossible to make it a paying investment, yielding not only pleasure but profit as well. As a matter of fact, when one's mind is once made up not to sacrifice the pleasures of gardening for six months every year, a little energy, ingenuity and a very few dollars will go a long way in providing the necessary equipment. Nor is the care of the ordinary flowers, and the vegetables suited for winter use, such a complicated profession that the beginner cannot achieve quite a considerable measure of success with his or her very first attempts, provided that regular care is given the work in hand. It is a much easier task than succeeding with plants in the house, notwithstanding the fact that general opinion is to the contrary. It is not necessary to start in on a large scale. A very few square feet of soil, where all the conditions can be controlled as they are under glass, will produce an amazing amount. Take for instance lettuce grown for the home table. How good it is right fresh and crisp from the soil compared to the wilted or artificially revived bunches one can get at the grocer's! Outdoors you put it a foot apart in rows a foot and a half apart; a patch 3 x 10 feet would give you twenty heads. In the home garden under glass you set out a batch of Grand Rapids lettuce plants, one of the very best in quality, six inches each way, so that a little piece of bench 3 x 10 feet would give you one hundred heads (which incidentally at the grocer's would cost you $10. or $12.--enough good money to buy glass for a quite roomy little lean-to). (See page 164.) Details of construction, etc., are given in the following pages, but the most important thing of all is just to make up your mind that you will have a little greenhouse of your own. If you once decide to have it the way can be found, for the necessary cash outlay is very small indeed. Think of the variety of ways you could use such a winter garden! Not only may lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and other vegetables be had out of season, but you can get a better start with your garden than ever before--put it weeks and weeks ahead of the old sow-out-in-the-ground way. And then consider the flowers! A dozen carnation plants, for instance, would occupy about six square feet of room, say 2 x 3 feet of bench, and would supply you comfortably with blossoms all winter long--nice fresh ones outlasting twice over the cold storage blooms from the retail florist's--to say nothing of the added value of having them actually home grown.

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