Indoor Gardening

Fourth Week

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY. As fresh air is indispensable for the health of plants, and as fogs occur about this time, it is essential to apply a little fire-heat during the day, to expel damps, and to cause a desirable activity in the circulation of

the air. Attend to cleanliness, picking off dead leaves, and the destruction of insects. Bulbs.--Pot Hyacinths, Narcissi, Tulips, &c., to flower late in the spring; also the Ixiae and Gladioli, and various other Irideae; and also Oxalis, Lachenalia, &c. They delight in light open soil composed of peat, loam, and sand, and rotten leaf mould as an addition to, or substitute for, the peat. Cinerarias.--Give the final shift to the plants intended to flower as specimens in early spring. Chrysanthemums to be treated with manure water occasionally. All suckers and spindly shoots to be removed, and the flowers to be thinned. Pelargoniums.--A little fire-heat by day, with plenty of air, will be of service to drive off the damp and stagnant atmosphere caused by heavy rains. Watering, if necessary, to be given in the morning; the principal shoots to be tied into a regular form, and the weakly and useless ones removed; to be placed near the glass, to encourage a sturdy, short-jointed growth. Two ounces of the Gishurst compound, dissolved in one gallon of soft water, will speedily banish the green fly. FORCING-HOUSES. Cucumbers.--Keep them tied in as they grow; stop the side-shoots at the second joint; allow the leader to grow to the required length before stopping it; and pinch off the young fruit if you think they are not sufficiently strong to carry a crop. Peaches.--Prune and dress the trees as soon as they lose their leaves. If the lights are still off any of the early houses the sooner they are put on the better. An abundance of air to be given. Pines.--The temperature of the fruit-swelling plants to range from 60 deg. to 65 deg. at night, with an increase during the day in accordance with the state of the weather, whether bright and sunny, or rainy, foggy, or frosty; and the succession plants a few degrees less. Humidity to be considerably reduced, as it tends at this season to produce weak and immature growth. The bark-beds of strong succession plants that are required to start into fruit early, to be renewed by having a small quantity added to the surface of the bed. Pits heated by dung will require covering with mats at night: when covered let every other light be slightly raised, to allow the steam to pass off. When the covering is off it will escape through the laps of the glass. Take advantage of all opportunities for giving a little air. If it can be done every day, so much the better for the health of the plants. Vines.--The Vines in late houses that will not require to be pruned for some time should have the tops or other portions of the immature wood cut off, to give strength and plumpness to the back eyes. If the houses are dry, kept free from drip, and the scissors employed amongst decaying berries, the fruit that now remains will be in a good condition for holding on for a long time.

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