Indoor Gardening

Second Week

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY. A free ventilation is of importance, and by closing with a humid atmosphere early in the evening a vigorous growth will be promoted. Liberal shifts to be given to such plants as may now require them, before their roots become matted.

Remove all plants intended for bedding out, and let them remain for a short time under the protection of a cold frame, or in beds hooped over, and covered at night with mats, or other such protecting materials. This gradually-hardening-off will better enable them to withstand unfavourable weather, if it should occur after they are planted out. Azaleas.--All irregularities of growth should be corrected by pruning. We have lately seen the beneficial effects of close pruning on such plants; they had been cut in severely last season by removing strong, straggling branches of old wood, to give some a spherical and others a pyramidal form. When pruned, the ball was reduced, the plant fresh potted in a smaller-sized pot, and the peat soil rammed as hard as it was possible to make it; then watered, and introduced to heat. The plants treated in that manner are now covered with bloom, and in a high state of vigour. Heaths.--Keep the tops pinched off, to form bushy plants. New Holland Plants.--Some of them of weak growth, and which naturally make long, straggling shoots, are much improved by bending down the branches, and fixing them to a wire hoop, or string attached to the rim of the pot. By such means the nakedness of the plant at its base is hidden, and the check imposed on the ascent of the sap will induce an increased supply of shoots. Pick off the seed-pods as the plants go out of bloom. Cut back and arrange the shoots in the best manner, to produce compact growth. Pelargoniums.--All that are showing bloom, unless of very gross habit, will receive benefit from a supply of a little weak manure water. For that purpose put cow, horse, or sheepdung into a tub, and to one peck add five gallons of rain or other soft water. When taking it for use draw it off clear, and give the plants a watering twice a week. Give air freely, shut up early, and syringe the plants overhead till the flowers expand, when syringing should be discontinued. As the petals are apt to drop very soon in hot weather, it is recommended to touch the centre of the flower with a camel-hair pencil, or small feather, dipped in gum water, which will stick the petals together and prolong the blooming. Such is the general practice at our metropolitan exhibitions. STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE. As the stove plants grow, allow them more space, especially such plants as are prized for the beauty of their foliage. Give frequent attention to stopping and training. Look to the climbers frequently, to regulate their growth and to prevent entanglement, and a world of trouble and confusion. Put in cuttings of such plants as Brugmansias, Clerodendrons, Eranthemums, Erythrinas, Poinsettias, and those winter-flowering plants Euphorbia jaquiniflora and the Gesnera bulbosa. Where there is only one house in which to grow Orchids, a compromise as to temperature must be made to suit the natives of the hot and moist valleys or shady woods of the East, and those which inhabit high and airy regions in the Western hemisphere. To accomplish this it is advisable to allow a free circulation of air during the early part of the day, with an abundance of atmospheric moisture, and to shut up early in the afternoon with a high degree of temperature. Achimenes.--They delight in a moist heat, and a partially-shaded situation. More air to be given as they advance in growth. The shoots to be staked out neatly. Gesneras to be treated similarly, with the addition of more light. Gloxinias.--The same as Achimenes. FORCING-HOUSES. Cherries.--Give more air, and keep a drier atmosphere when the fruit is ripening. Give plenty of water to the trees swelling their fruit. Keep them free from insects, or the fruit will be of little value. Figs.--Air freely, to give flavour to the fruit now ripening. Avoid wetting the fruit when it begins to soften. Melons.--Keep up the heat of the beds by renewing or turning the linings. Slightly shade the plants when the sun is powerful, to keep the foliage in a healthy state, without which good fruit cannot be produced. When the frames are at liberty, Melons may be grown in them with a little assistance from dung heat at bottom. Peaches.--Give a liberal supply of air, with less water, to trees, the fruit of which are ripening. Pines.--Continue the previous instructions in the management of the plants in the different stages of growth. Vines.--Thin and stop the shoots, and thin the berries in good time. Attend to the late crops, and set, by hand, the blossoms of Muscats, West's St. Peter's, and other shy setters. Be sure that inside borders are properly supplied with water, giving sufficient quantities to thoroughly moisten the whole mass of soil.

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