Indoor Gardening

Fourth Week

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY. The great object should now be to keep them moderately dry; water, when necessary, to be given in the forenoon. Gentle fires to be applied in the daytime, with a sufficiency of air to allow the vapour to pass off. All

decaying leaves, flower-stalks, &c., to be carefully picked off. All weeds, moss on the surface of pots, or anything else that would tend to cause dampness, mildew, or decomposition, to be cleared away. Pinch off the tops of any of the half-hardy plants that are growing too rapidly. Climbers.--To be closely tied, that they may interfere as little as possible with the admission of light. Forcing Pit.--The various plants described in former Calendars, and recommended to be forwarded here for furnishing the drawing-room, conservatory, or mixed greenhouse, will require careful and skilful attention. Moderate syringings with tepid water to be given on suitable occasions. Fire heat to be applied, more especially in the daytime, with air at every favourable opportunity. The pit to be shut up early, and the heat to be husbanded by external coverings in preference to night heat. Syringings with the Gishurst Compound, or frequent and moderate fumigations of tobacco smoke, to be given to destroy green fly. The water to be always tepid when applied to the roots or branches when they require it. New Holland Plants.--As they are very apt to suffer when exposed to cold draughts of air, and as they are generally wintered in the same house with the more hardy sorts of greenhouse plants, they should occupy a part of the house where air can be admitted, when necessary, from the top lights only. Orange Trees.--Advantage to be taken of unfavourable weather for out-door work, to clean the foliage of Orange trees and Camellias. It is as essential to the health of such things that the foliage be kept clean, and, therefore, in a fit state to perform its functions, as that their roots be kept in a healthy, active state. FORCING-HOUSES. Asparagus.--Make a slight hotbed of tree leaves, if they can be procured, of size or substance sufficient only to cause a gentle heat. The roots may be taken up from the open ground, and planted at once in the bed. Mice and slugs to be looked after. Any vacant pits, or frames, may be made available for the purpose of forcing Asparagus. Cherries.--To be treated as advised for Peaches. Cucumbers.--If the plants are strong, and you have a full command of bottom and atmospheric heat, you may calculate, with a little attention, upon ultimate success. Air to be admitted when it is safe to do so, to get the leaves dry, if possible, daily. Light is indispensable, and steep-roofed houses, or pits, are preferred for that object in winter. The early nursing-box for young plants should be well supplied with linings, the glass washed clean and kept in good repair. Mushrooms.--Continue to prepare succession-beds as formerly directed. The beds that have been in bearing some time, if the surface is dry, to be watered with clear, weak liquid manure, a few degrees warmer than the temperature of the house. Peaches.--The early house should now be set in order, by being thoroughly cleansed, whitewashed, and the trees pruned, dressed, and tied. Air to be given during the day, and the house to be shut up at night for a fortnight or three weeks, preparatory to the commencement of forcing. Pines.--The principal objects of attention during this dull season should comprise a moderate declension of heat and moisture, and a moderate supply of air at all times when it can be admitted with safety. When heat is supplied by fermenting materials the linings will require some sort of covering--as straw, fern, boards, or shutters--to protect them from cold winds, frosts, or rains; only a gentle bottom heat is now required at this, that should be, their season of rest, as a dry and moderately warm atmosphere is nearly all they will require. If the young plants are growing in pits heated solely by dung linings, be careful to exclude the steam from the dung, as excess of damp will rot the hearts of the plants. Vines.--If early Grapes are required, it is advisable to adopt the old-fashioned plan of placing some sweet hot dung inside the house, to produce an atmosphere that is most congenial for softening the wood, and for "breaking" the buds. The roots, if outside, to be covered with a good depth of litter, to produce an increase of heat by fermentation, and to prevent the escape of terrestrial heat. All Vines casting their leaves to be pruned immediately.

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