GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.
Careful attention should now be given to the picking off mouldy and dead
leaves, decaying flower-stems, &c., as they spread contagion wherever
they touch. Drip to be prevented, and atmospheric humidity to be
disposed of by a gentle day fire occasionally,
and the free admission of air. Azaleas (Chinese).--Introduce a few into heat for early bloom. The A. Indica alba and Phoenicea are best to begin with; to be succeeded by Smith's coccinea, and after it any of the other varieties. As decorations for the conservatory or drawing-room they are invaluable where they continue for six weeks or two months in perfect beauty. Camellias.--Water, when necessary, to be given in a slightly tepid state, and plenty of air, that the buds may be allowed to swell full and prominent by a slow but sure process. If bloom is required early, to be forwarded by introducing them into a situation where heat is applied. STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE. Withhold moisture entirely from the roots of deciduous Orchids, and such as are sinking into a state of repose. Any late specimens, or importations, making late growths to be favoured with the best light situations in the house and a little water, to keep up the vitality sufficient to produce the secretions necessary to carry them safely through the dull days of winter. Look over all growing plants, and see that they do not suffer for want of water. Look to every Orchid, even the smallest growing on blocks or in baskets, they all require attention. Repot or surface dress any that require it. A favourable day to be chosen to wash the lights for the more free admission of that agent most indispensable for their health. The whole to be kept neat, and free from insects; and the plants on stages, tables, or suspended from blocks, baskets, &c., to be arranged in a manner the most suitable for a picturesque and pleasing effect. FORCING-HOUSES. Where early forcing is intended it is advisable to give a thorough cleansing to the houses by limewashing and dressing the wood of Cherries, Figs, Peaches, Vines, &c., as frequently directed. Beans (Dwarf Kidney).--Sow in six-inch pots; when crocked to be filled within three inches of the rim with a compost consisting of old Cucumber or Melon mould, rotten dung and leaf mould in about equal proportions. To be placed in any convenient part of the forcing-house for a few days until the soil is warm. The Beans are then sown about ten or twelve in each pot, and pressed by the finger about an inch below the soil. In a week they will be up; to be then thinned out, according to the strength of the plants, to six or eight in each, and to receive a gentle watering. When the two first leaves are fully developed the plants to be earthed up as high as the cotyledons. To be regularly syringed and watered at the roots, taking especial care that they do not become too wet, or they will damp off. When they have made two joints to be stopped, to cause them to produce laterals and bearing branches. The plants to be placed as close to the glass as possible. The Chinese Dwarf and Fulmer are good sorts for forcing. Figs.--A temperature of about 40 deg. will suit them at present; if allowed to get lower they are very apt to suffer. Trees in pots to be removed to any house where that degree of temperature is kept up. Peaches.--Where the roots are inside, and have been kept dry, an application of weak, clear liquid manure, at the temperature of summer heat (76 deg.), will act as a stimulant to the roots, whose services are required before much excitement takes place at top. Pines.--Now, at the dullest season of the year, it is necessary to be very cautious in regulating the bottom and surface temperatures, more especially in the succession-houses or pits; a bottom heat of about 70 deg., with a steady top temperature of about 60 deg. during the day, and about 55 deg. during the night, will keep the plants in a comparatively comfortable state of rest, neither allowing the temperature to decline so low as to reduce their vitality to such a degree as to endanger their restoration to vigour in proper season, nor to rise so high as to excite them into a growth that would be immature for want of solar light and heat. A moderate application of water will also be necessary. Vines.--When the Grapes are all cut, prune the Vines without loss of time, that the wounds may have sufficient time to get perfectly healed before they are excited into growth. If delayed until early spring, bleeding will be sure to follow. Vines in pots intended for forcing should either be placed within the protection of the house appropriated to them, or secured from the effects of severe weather.
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