Indoor Gardening

Fourth Week

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY. Continue to keep the supply of heat and moisture at the lowest degree compatible with the safety of the plants from frosts. In damp, foggy weather, a gentle fire to be applied occasionally during the day to expel moist, stagnant air.

During severe winterly weather it is advisable to be cautious in the application of heat, more especially at night. From 45 deg. by night to 50 deg. by day will be sufficient for the conservatory, and 40 deg. for the mixed greenhouse. To give a pleasing variety to the appearance of these houses it is advisable to rearrange the plants occasionally; those going out of flower to be removed, and a fresh supply introduced from the forcing-pit. All plants in these and other departments to be regularly looked over, removing the dead leaves and tying in straggling branches. The surface soil to be stirred a little, and some fresh added. As all compost-heaps are benefited by exposure to frosts, it is advisable to turn over the caked or frozen surface every morning, until the whole is turned over and penetrated by the frost, by which grubs and all such kinds of vermin are destroyed, and the soil considerably ameliorated. Calceolarias (Herbaceous).--To be shifted into larger pots if they require them, to be kept near the glass, to be watered moderately through a fine rose, and on no account to be allowed to get thoroughly dry. To be careful when removing decayed leaves, not to pull or to cut them off too close to the stem, by which the flower-shoots would be very likely to get injured. Camellias.--Great care is necessary that they may not be exposed to great alternations of temperature, which are sure to cause them to drop their flower-buds. The great reason why flower-buds very often fall off without properly coming into bloom, is the too sudden changes in the temperature to which they are exposed. For instance: when the buds are nearly ready to expand, a sudden heat causes them to push too rapidly; and, on the contrary, a decrease of warmth at the time checks their growth, and in other cases causes them to fall. The heat required to expand the blossom-buds is about 60 deg. by day, and 50 deg. by night. If this be attended to, the plants will continue in flower for a great length of time, as the plants in that heat are not excited to grow. A little weak manure water to be given occasionally to the blooming plants. Chrysanthemums.--When they begin to fade, to be removed to the north side of a wall or fence, the pots to be plunged in old tan, leaves, or sawdust, to protect them from the severity of winter. Cytisuses.--Place them and other such early-flowering plants in the coldest part of the house, where they may receive plenty of air at all favourable opportunities. Orange Trees.--These, or other such plants that have not been recently potted, to be surfaced by removing a little of the top soil and supplying its place with fresh. Attention to be paid to keeping the leaves clean and healthy. STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE. As it would be improper to attempt to maintain the same degree of heat in any structure, when the external temperature is below the freezing-point as may be permitted if it were 10 deg. or 15 deg. above freezing, we would advise from 50 deg. by night to 60 deg. by day, for the stove and Orchid-house. As many plants, especially Orchids, suffer from drip at this season, a careful look-out should be kept, and either the cause remedied or the plants removed. The decoration of the hothouse would now depend in a great measure upon Begonias, Euphorbias, Luculias, &c. Such plants should be carefully tied up and placed in the most conspicuous situations, or some of them may be removed to the conservatory so as to prolong their season of blooming. Allamandas.--Continue the temperature and treatment as lately advised. To be potted, as also Stephanotis, &c., and trained preparatory to starting them into growth, about the beginning of the new year. Forcing-pit.--Introduce such plants as are generally used for forcing, especially the sweet-scented sorts, Lily of the Valley, Sweet Briar, Lilacs, some of the Tea, Bourbon, or Hybrid Perpetual Roses, and bulbous plants. Ixoras.--To be elevated near the glass to set their bloom, and to have plenty of air at favourable opportunities. FORCING-HOUSES. Cucumbers.--No diminution of heat to be allowed after the plants are ridged out and in action. Peaches.--It is becoming very much the fashion to have Peach and some other sorts of fruit trees which are wanted for early forcing in pots, and the plan is so far good, that it affords the advantage of being able to give the roots a mild, regular bottom heat, which is of the greatest importance in early forcing. Those who have good established trees, in pots, may now start them in a moderate heat. Air to be given liberally in favourable weather, and the syringe to be used freely over them morning and evening. The surface soil to be stirred up and kept open, and a supply of manure water to be given previous to starting them. The trees in the late houses to receive whatever pruning is necessary, and to be cleansed of every particle of scale, and afterwards washed with a composition of soft soap and sulphur. All bast ties and insect-haunts to be carefully removed. Pines.--During the continuance of severe weather, dry fern, straw, &c., will be necessary, in addition to mats; such coverings will be of more service than maintaining strong fires to keep up the temperature. When a supply of fruit is required throughout the year, it is sometimes necessary, at this season, to subject some of the plants to a high temperature to start them into fruit. A few of such as are most likely to fruit soon, to be put into a pit, or house, by themselves, where a temperature of from 60 deg. to 65 deg. by night, and from 70 deg. to 75 deg. by day, with about 80 deg. of bottom heat, will be the most certain treatment for starting them into fruit. The other plants can then be supplied with a moderate temperature until the beginning of February; by such treatment a succession of fruit will be prolonged. Do not suffer the linings of dung-beds to decline, keep up, if possible, a temperature of 50 deg. at night, and 60 deg. by day, with a little air at every favourable opportunity. Potatoes.--Plant some sound, whole sets, singly, in three-and-a-half-inch pots, to be placed at the back of a Pine-pit, or in any other place where there is some heat, they will, in due time, be useful for planting out in the exhausted Asparagus-frames or pits. Raspberries.--When a few early dishes would be considered a treat, if some canes are taken up and planted in any vacant spot in the Peach-house, they will be found to bear fruit abundantly with common care. It is a more certain method of obtaining fruit than by potting them. Vines.--When started and until the buds are fairly broken, endeavour to keep the points of the shoots nearly on a level with the lowest part of the Vine, and if that should not be found sufficient to induce the buds to start regularly throughout the whole length of the Vine, the rod should be bent so as to bring the most forward buds to the lowest level, and elevating those that are backward. A moist atmosphere to be kept up by sprinkling the floor and paths, and by syringing the Vines lightly every morning and evening until the leaves begin to appear, when the supply of moisture will not be so much required. Introduce a lot in pots to some house, pit, or frame prepared with leaves or manure, if not done as advised last week. At first, Vines in pots are most useful for early work, as they, in many places, save the established Vines in houses, from the hazardous operation of early excitement. Increase the temperature slightly when the buds are beginning to swell, or are starting a little. The fermenting material in the house to be stirred up occasionally. This fermenting material should, if possible, consist of a large proportion of leaves mixed with the dung, to prevent the steam from the latter discolouring the rafters and sashes; and if the vapour is likely to be too strong, a thin covering of sawdust or old tan will prevent any injurious effects. If the roots are outside the house, and had been covered before the commencement of frost, as advised, some more dung and leaves should be added to keep up a genial heat in the border, the good effects of which will be soon evident in the progress of the Vines inside. When the Grapes are all cut in the late houses, the Vines to be pruned immediately, and the cuts to be covered with white lead.

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