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In-Door Gardening for Every Week in the Year
by William Keane
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IN-DOOR GARDENING

FOR

EVERY WEEK IN THE YEAR:

SHOWING

THE MOST SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT FOR ALL PLANTS

CULTIVATED IN THE

GREENHOUSE, CONSERVATORY, STOVE, PIT, ORCHID, AND FORCING-HOUSE.

BY WILLIAM KEANE.

THIRD EDITION.

LONDON: JOURNAL OF HORTICULTURE AND COTTAGE GARDENER OFFICE, 171, FLEET STREET.

1865.



IN-DOOR GARDENING FOR THE MANY.

JANUARY.

FIRST WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

Cinerarias.—The plants intended for large specimens must receive their final shift, and be allowed sufficient space to expand their foliage without interfering with or injuring each other. The side-shoots to be tied out.

Epacrises.—As some of them will be preparing to burst into flower, a little arrangement may be necessary in tying them out to display their spikes of bloom more advantageously.

Fuchsias.—If wanted early, the plants that were first put to rest should be selected, and be fresh potted, cutting back the roots, beginning with a small-sized pot; to be shifted into larger when the roots have extended to the outside of the ball. Place them in a nice moist temperature of 50 by day and 40 by night.

Heaths.—To be looked over, and the dead and decaying leaves removed. The most forward in bud—such as the Vestitas, Vernix, Vasciflora, Aristata, Beaumontia, and many others, to be tied out, and arranged for the season.

Pelargoniums.—When large specimens are wanted, tie out the branches at equal distances, and down as near to the rim of the pot as possible. Air to be given at all favourable opportunities. Water to be given but sparingly, and not overhead.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Be careful that the night temperature is not raised too high: if kept at 50 in severe weather no ill consequences will result. The atmosphere to be kept rather moist, especially if the weather is bright; and all plants indicating an appearance of starting into bloom to be removed to the warmest part of the house.

Clerodendrons.—To be shaken out of their pots; their roots reduced and repotted into small pots in a light sandy loamy compost. Sow seeds, and also of any hard-wooded stove plants.

Water to be given very cautiously to the Orchids, merely sufficient to prevent the plants from shrivelling; and to do this effectually it is necessary to look over them every day. The air of the house to be kept moist by sprinkling the pathways, floors, tables, &c., daily. If any plant is found not to have ripened off its bulbs it should be placed in the warmest part of the house, and the ripening process encouraged. The Brassias, Cyanoches, Coelogynes, Miltonias, and other such plants, when they are beginning to grow, to be repotted. The compost to consist of turfy peat mixed with a portion of charcoal or broken potsherds, and the pots to be at least half full of very open drainage.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Cherries.—Very gentle excitement to be given by fire or artificial heat, with kindly humidity, and abundance of air.

Figs.—Although they will bear a higher degree of temperature without injury than either Cherries or Peaches, it is advisable to begin cautiously, as it frequently happens that the more haste with fire the less speed with fruit, and that favourable opportunities of sun and light must be embraced for making sure progress with them.

Peaches.—Where the trees are coming into bloom it is necessary to be cautious in the application of humidity, and when they have expanded their flowers to withhold it altogether for a time. Fire or other artificial heat to be applied moderately—that is, from 45 by night to 55 by day, particularly when dark and gloomy weather prevails. The houses now commencing to force to be kept moderately moist, and in a sweet healthy state, syringing the trees pretty freely once or twice a-day with tepid water. Shut up early on sunny days, and sprinkle the paths, floors, flues, or pipes frequently.

Vines.—When they have all broken, the superfluous buds must be rubbed off, and the young shoots stopped as soon as they are long enough to admit the points of the shoots at one bud above the bunch being broken out. In vineries now commencing to force, adopt the practice of producing, where it can be applied, a kindly humidity by means of dung and leaves, or other such fermenting materials. If they are to be broken principally by fire heat, either by flues or hot-water pipes, copious syringings must be resorted to with tepid water once or twice a-day. Fire heat to be applied principally by day, with air at the same time, and very moderately at night.

SECOND WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

The plants will now require particular attention and a nice discrimination in the application of water: it may be comprehended by all persons interested in gardening operations, that when the soil on the surface of the pot looks damp it will not require water until it gets thoroughly dry at this season, and then it is to be given before the plant droops or flags for want of it. But when the plant droops and the soil on the surface appears damp, the cause is then to be discovered by turning the ball out of the pot, when it will be seen whether the whole or only a portion of the soil is wet; as it sometimes happens, when fresh potted with light soil, it shrinks from the sides of the pot when dry, and when water is given it runs down and moistens the outside, without penetrating the ball. The evil is corrected by holding it for a short space of time in a tub of water of the same temperature as the house. If the soil of any plant is sodden with water it should be turned out of the pot, and the drainage examined, and no water to be given until it becomes thoroughly dry.

Verbenas.—They require to be kept tolerably dry, as they are more susceptible of injury from damp than from cold; a top shelf near the glass in the greenhouse is a very suitable place for them. If mildew appears, to be dusted with flowers of sulphur.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Although all plants now at rest should be kept comparatively dry, they will require to be looked over daily to see that they do not suffer for want of water. The temperature not to exceed 60 by fire heat, and a fall of 10 may be allowed at night in very cold weather. Many of the stove plants—such as Aphelandras, Justicias, Poinsettias, &c.—may now be cut down altogether, and kept dry for a few weeks, which will cause them to make an early growth, and to come into flower a few weeks sooner next winter.

Gesneras.—Select a few roots of them and a few of the Gloxinias to start into growth to produce a succession of flowers.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Asparagus.—If the soil in the bed is dry, give it a liberal supply of water, so that it may descend to the roots, as unproductiveness is sometimes caused by the soil at the roots being very dry when the top is kept moist by gentle waterings.

Beans (Dwarf Kidney).—Sow every three weeks, if a constant supply is wanted. Keep the early crops well supplied with water, and give them frequent sprinklings overhead, to prevent the attacks of red spider.

Mushrooms.—An abundance of water to be thrown about the floors. If the beds are dry, to be syringed with lukewarm water, applying it like dew at intervals for a few hours. Temperature from 50 to 60, with air occasionally in favourable weather.

Peaches.—Continue previous directions. The trees in bloom to be artificially impregnated, and the foreright shoots to be rubbed off a few at a time before they become too large. Currents of air to be carefully avoided, especially when the trees are in bloom, as they have been sometimes observed to sustain injury from the two end doors being left open for a short time. Air to be given at the top daily in favourable weather.

Pines.—As the days lengthen and the light increases the plants that are swelling their fruit should be supplied with a gradual increase of heat (from 65 at night to 75 or 80 in the middle of the day in clear weather), water, and atmospheric moisture; while others that are in bloom and starting into fruit require more air or more moderate temperature, care in watering and less atmospheric humidity. Some of the strongest succession plants that are grown in pots to receive their final shift, that they may make their growth for fruiting in May or June. In old-fashioned pits or houses, where the flues run near the tan-bed, the plants should be closely examined, as they are apt to be injured by fire heat in such a situation.

Strawberries.—A few dozens more pots may be placed in a frame where there is a gentle heat and an atmosphere more congenial to their healthy growth than in a house.

Vines.—When they have made shoots two or three inches long, the night temperature to range from 60 to 65, with an increase of from 5 to 10 during the day.

PITS AND FRAMES.

Keep the plants in these structures as hardy as possible by fully exposing them in mild weather, but do not give any more water than is absolutely necessary. Remove all decayed and decaying leaves, and keep the atmosphere in as healthy a state as possible.

Make small hotbeds for sowing Cucumbers and Melons, Radishes and Early Horn Carrots, Cauliflower and Walcheren Broccoli, Lettuce, and various other things, which will be found useful where the late severe weather, or other cause, may have diminished the autumn sowings.

THIRD WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

Ventilation is requisite in mild weather, as stagnant air is always unfavourable, especially to the plants blooming in the conservatory. Water sparingly, and damp the house as moderately as possible, as water settling on the flowers will soon destroy them. When the plants, bulbs, or shrubs in the forcing-pit have developed their blossoms, let them be removed to the conservatory, where they can be preserved much longer in perfection. The plants to be looked over every morning, and every dead or decaying leaf and flower to be removed.

Heaths.—Fire heat should only be given when mats or other such coverings are not sufficient to exclude frost, as nothing so much injures the constitution of the Cape Heaths as a close, damp atmosphere. Air should be allowed to circulate freely amongst them at all opportunities.

Pelargoniums.—The plants intended for specimens should be finally shifted. Air to be admitted at all favourable opportunities, and a slight increase of temperature given. To be kept near the glass, and free from green fly. If they have made no winter growth they will now be the better prepared to progress in a robust, healthy state.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Amaryllis.—Attend to the shifting of them as soon as they show signs of growth. Let them be placed in the stove, and give a little water, increasing it gradually as the leaves unfold.

Orchids.—If other departments of gardening are likely to occupy more time than can be very well spared as spring operations accumulate very fast, it is advisable to proceed with the potting of Orchids from this time forward, beginning with those that are showing signs of growth. Peat cut into from one to two-inch cubes, fresh sphagnum to be soaked in boiling water, to destroy insects, and charcoal lumps, with an abundance of crocks, are the materials to be used. Any plants that had become very dry should be immersed in tepid water for an hour the day previous to shifting. The climate of the countries and the localities from whence the species come are the best guides to their successful cultivation; as the treatment required for Oncidium Carthaginense would kill O. bifolium, and Cattleya Forbesii will thrive where C. Skinneri will die, and in like manner with many others.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Capsicum.—Sow seeds of the large sort in pans or pots, to be placed in heat. When the seedlings are an inch or two high pot them singly into small pots, and replace them in heat; to be afterwards shifted when necessary until the end of May, when they may be planted out on a south border.

Cherries.—Plenty of air, atmospheric moisture, and a very moderate temperature, are the requisites for them. If the buds are beginning to swell, 45 will be enough to maintain by fire heat, lowering the temperature down to 40 at night, with a moist atmosphere.

Cucumbers.—The plants in bearing to get a top dressing of fresh, rich soil. Keep a sharp look out for the destruction of insects. When the plants in the seed-bed have made one rough leaf pinch off the leading shoot above it, so as to cause the plants to throw out two shoots from the axil of the leaves. Cuttings put in and struck in the seed-bed will come into bearing quicker than seedling plants.

Peaches.—If the weather is very dull and unfavourable for giving air where the trees are in bloom, it is advisable to shake the trellis towards noon for dispersing the pollen.

Pines.—Proceed with the routine as advised in last Calendar.

Strawberries.—Keep them close to the glass, and remember that they are impatient of heat: let 45 be about the maximum, with a very free circulation of air. If they are plunged in a pit or dung-bed, let the bottom heat be about 70 maximum, with an atmospheric warmth of 55 to 60. In such a situation they will want scarcely any water until they begin to throw up their blossom-spikes.

Tomatoes.—Sow seed of the large. To be treated as advised for Capsicums.

Vines.—To be looked over carefully, and as soon as they are sufficiently forward to distinguish the embryo fruit all useless shoots to be removed—that is, all that do not show fruit, and are not required for wood next season. It may also be necessary to take off some of the shoots that show fruit where they are very thick. If two shoots grow from one joint one of them should be removed.

FOURTH WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

The compost intended for the plants in these houses should be prepared and sweetened by several turnings; and a sufficient supply for immediate use should be stored in an open shed.

Calceolarias (Herbaceous).—To be potted into larger pots as they require them; compost equal parts of turfy loam, peat, and leaf mould, with a sprinkling of silver sand. To be kept in a moderately-moist atmospheric temperature of from 45 at night to 55 in the day. To be slightly syringed with tepid water on sunny days, and to be kept free from insects.

Fuchsias.—After the old plants are shaken out of their pots, and their roots reduced and fresh potted in a compost of turfy loam and peat, with a little leaf mould and some sand added, to be introduced to a temperature of 60. When some of the young shoots are an inch long they may be taken off, and inserted in pans of sand kept damp, where they will soon take root, and will require to be pushed on in heat to make fine large specimens for the conservatory or flower garden.

New Holland Plants.—Water them with care and moderation. Air to be given freely night and day in mild weather. Fire heat to be applied only, and then merely sufficiently, to exclude frost. The strong shoots of the vigorous young stock to be stopped in due time as the best foundation for future good specimens.

Sow seeds of Thunbergias, Phlox Drummondi, Mignonette, Ten-week and other Stocks, in pots, to be placed upon a slight hotbed.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Achimenes.—Place the tubers thickly in pans, to be potted singly as they appear, in equal portions of leaf mould and sandy loam; to be started into growth in a moderate bottom heat.

Gloxinias.—Select a few varieties. To be shaken out, and fresh potted in equal parts of turfy loam and heath soil and a little sand. To be excited in bottom heat.

Gesnera zebrina.—Those which were first in flower should be dried off for early work next season. This is to be done by withholding water gradually, and by keeping their foliage still exposed to the light.

Sow seeds of Egg Plants, Cockscombs, Amaranths, and other such tender annuals in heat, to grow them in good time into fine specimens for the adornment of the conservatory in summer.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Cucumbers.—The plants preparing for ridging out early in February will require attention in airing, and watering with tepid water occasionally when dry, and to be kept close to the glass to produce sturdy growth. The plants on dung-beds require great attention at this season. To be kept within eight or nine inches of the glass; to be stopped regularly; and to maintain a heat of not less than 70 by day; to be able to give air to dry the plants. The fermenting materials to be always prepared ready to receive the linings when the heat declines. For those who are fortunate enough to be provided with pits heated by hot-water pipes, such constant labour and attention will not be necessary.

Melons.—To be treated as advised for Cucumbers.

Peaches.—When the blossoms are beginning to expand, discontinue syringing, but sprinkle the pathways, to produce a moist, but not too damp, and consequently a healthy, state of the atmosphere. Fresh air is indispensable and should be admitted at every favourable opportunity; and if the cold external air could be made to pass over the flues, or hot-water pipes, so as to get warmed before coming in contact with the blossoms, a gentle circulation would be constantly kept up until the fruit is fairly set.

Pines.—Great care is necessary when syringing, more especially those that are about throwing up their flower-stems, that no more water may lodge in the hearts of the plants than will evaporate during the day. But if, from any cause, a portion remain until evening, it should be drawn away by means of a syringe having a long and narrow tube at the end of it, or by a piece of sponge tied to the point of a small stick.

Strawberries.—When these are throwing up their blossom-spikes a little liquid manure may be given, but it should be very weak, and perfectly clear. A succession of plants to be introduced where there is a gentle heat. The decayed leaves to be trimmed off, the surface of the soil to be stirred, and the pots to be placed on shelves near the glass.

Vines.—Continue the treatment as advised last week.

Keep up a succession of Kidney Beans, Asparagus, Sea-kale, and Rhubarb.

PITS AND FRAMES.

Cuttings of Anagallis, Heliotropes, Geraniums, Lobelias, Salvias, and Verbenas may now be struck in a gentle bottom heat, and pushed forward to make good sized plants for bedding out when all danger from frost is over.



FEBRUARY.

FIRST WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

Proceed with the potting of the young plants in the greenhouse, and the small specimens of all kinds, using the soil tolerably rough, with a liberal sprinkling of sand, and good drainage. To be kept rather close until they make fresh roots.

Azaleas (Indian).—Introduce a few into heat; to be fresh potted before starting them, giving a rather liberal shift into good peat and sand, with thorough drainage. A moist-growing temperature between 60 and 70 to be maintained, with plenty of air in favourable weather. Sow seed, as likewise Rhododendron, in a gentle bottom heat.

Kalosanthes.—To be started into growth, potting them in a compost of half turfy loam, one-fourth turfy peat, and one-fourth decomposed leaf mould, with plenty of coarse gritty sand, and an admixture of charcoal and pebbles or potsherds broken small. A liberal shift to be given, and to be kept in a temperature of from 45 to 50.

New Holland Plants.—Select young plants of the Boronias and other such families, and give them a liberal shift; they delight in good fibrous heath soil, with a good portion of sharp sand, and plenty of drainage. It is advisable to pick off the flowers, and to pinch off the tops of the young shoots during their growth, to form handsome specimens.

Orange Trees.—Be vigilant that scale and all insects are removed from them and from Neriums, and other such plants before they begin to grow, as young wood and foliage are more difficult to clean without injury.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Stove plants in general will now require an increase in the amount of atmospheric moisture, and a slight advance in heat; such an advance to be made, more especially on bright afternoons, when solar heat can be enclosed in good time, and with it a moist and congenial atmosphere.

Crinums.—Pot them if they require it, but without disturbing the ball of earth about their roots; to be favoured with an increase of heat to start them afresh, and during their active growth to be liberally supplied with water.

Gloriosa superba.—Shake out the roots, and repot in good fibrous loam, with a sprinkling of sand, and place them in bottom heat. No water to be applied to the tubers until they have commenced their growth.

FORCING-PIT.

Continue to introduce for succession bulbs, Lilacs, Roses, Sweet Brier, and the many other plants previously recommended as suitable and useful for that purpose. A temperature of from 65 to 70 to be maintained, with plenty of moisture in clear weather.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Figs.—Trees in pots to have their shoots stopped when they have made three or four joints, and to be supplied occasionally with liquid manure.

Melons.—The fruiting-beds to be prepared and in readiness for the reception of the young plants as soon as they have nearly filled their pots with roots.

Peaches.—If a house were started, as advised at the beginning of the year, a second should now be set to work. Syringe the trees several times a-day in clear weather, and once or twice in all weathers until the flowers begin to expand. Attention to be given to the early house, when the fruit is set, to thin it partially, but to leave one-third more on the trees than will be required to ripen off. If Peaches are intended to be grown in pots for next season, the maiden plants should now be procured, and potted in nine or ten inch pots. The Royal George Peach and Violette Htive Nectarine are the most eligible for that purpose.

Pines.—If any indications of the presence of worms appear on the surface of the pots a watering with clear lime water will remove them. The same steady temperature to be kept up in the fruiting-house or pit as lately advised. Although it is sometimes recommended we would not advise to withhold water at the roots for the purpose of starting them into fruit; for if, by proper management, they are good, healthy plants, they will have formed their fructiferous parts before this time, and therefore should not be allowed to get dry, but be watered when they require it with tepid water.

Vines.—The successional houses to be treated nearly in all respects the same as the early houses; the temperature may now be increased in accordance with the increase of light rather more rapidly at an early stage of their growth than that of the house in which forcing was commenced in December. When Vines for the early crops are grown in pots, put the eyes in 60-sized pots, and plunge them in a dung-frame or pit, with a bottom heat between 70 and 80. The Hamburghs, Black Prince, Muscadine, and Sweetwater are the kinds to be preferred for that purpose.

SECOND WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

As plants naturally, after their season of rest during the winter, now begin to grow, it is advisable to shift the young stock, and all others that require it, into fresh soil, by which they will be the better enabled to progress to a healthy-blooming state without check or hindrance. Although from this time to the middle of March is to be considered the most favourable season for a general shift, nevertheless it may be necessary to shift some plants more than once or twice during their season of growth.

Climbers.—To be attended to, removing weak and dead wood, and cutting back to three or four eyes where an increase of young shoots is desirable. To be frequently syringed, to keep down red spider, as they are more liable than other plants to be infested by them.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

The advice given for the shifting of the general stock of greenhouse plants will also be applicable to the fresh potting of the stove plants.

Begonias.—Being of free growth they delight in fresh soil, consisting of equal parts of sandy loam and leaf mould. As a general rule they are repotted in February and August; but exceptions are sometimes made, and a shift is given whenever the roots become cramped or matted in the pot. The knife to be used cautiously, unless with the tall-growing sorts.

Gloxinias.—To be now started, if not done as advised a fortnight ago. When planted press the roots gently on the surface of the soil, and give them no water for some time; as the moisture in the soil will be sufficient at first until they begin to grow, when a little may be given, and the supply to be gradually increased as they advance in growth. When potted to be removed to a frame or pit where the temperature is about 60.

Luculia gratissima.—To be potted in a compost consisting of half turfy loam, one-fourth turfy peat, and one-fourth leaf mould, with good drainage.

Musa Cavendishii.—To be repotted in a compost of turfy loam, vegetable soil, or well-rotted manure, and a small portion of sand, with plenty of drainage. To be plunged in a brisk heat in a bark-bed, and to keep the roots moist.

Many of the Orchids may now be potted, and then placed in the warmest part of the house. The plants that are not shifted to be supplied with a little fresh material, taking care that the embryo buds are not covered. Look over the fastenings of all that are on blocks, or in baskets, and renew the wires where necessary. The temperature to be about 65 by day, allowing it to range to 70 or 75 by sun-heat.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Cherries.—Keep up the temperature from 50 to 55 while the trees are in bloom, with as little variation as possible. The trees not in flower to be frequently syringed.

Cucumbers.—The greatest attention should be paid to the state of the bed for the first fortnight after the plants are turned out; the heat-stick (a stick stuck into the bed) should be examined, being, as it is, a much better criterion to judge by than a thermometer, which is generally used to indicate the heat of the atmosphere in the frame; cover up according to the heat of the bed. If it will allow it, a small portion of air should be left on every night, which may be given in the evening after the frame has been closed for two or three hours. Keep up the heat by stirring, renewing, or topping-up the linings; and attend to the stopping of the plants, and the earthing-up of the hills, as the roots make their appearance on the surface.

Melons.—Pot off the plants when the seed-leaves are fully expanded.

Peaches.—When the trees have set their fruit, give the roots, if growing inside the house, a good watering with liquid manure, mixed with soft hot water, so as to be of the temperature of the house, or a little above it. The syringe to be used several times a-day in clear, mild weather as soon as the fruit is set.

Pines.—Pot the succession plants. If the pots are full of strong, healthy roots, pick out the crocks carefully without injuring them, leaving the ball entire, and giving them a good shift. But if unfortunately many of the roots are dead, shake the ball entirely away, and cut out all that are dead, preserving such as are alive and healthy, and potting them in fresh soil.

Strawberries.—Keep up a succession by placing a few dozen pots in a gentle heat once every fortnight or three weeks.

Vines.—All laterals to be stopped in due time, and all useless buds and branches to be removed; the leading shoots to be tied in regularly, and the bunches to be thinned. No more bunches to be left on each Vine than it is likely to bring to perfect maturity. About one dozen bunches are a good average crop for each rod. The temperature to range from 55 to 60 at night, with an increase of 5 to 10 during the day, and even higher during sunshine.

THIRD WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

The plants occupying the beds in the conservatory to be arranged, cleaned, and pruned. If the health or habit of a plant, or other considerations, should render it desirable to prolong the season of blooming, the pruning may be postponed for a week or two longer. Continue to pot Cinerarias, Calceolarias, Pelargoniums, and all other such plants when they fill their pots with roots. To be then kept close for some days until fresh root-action begins. Green fly to be kept down.

Verbenas.—Put them in heat, to get cuttings; as also Heliotropes, and all other such plants, of which there is a scarcity, for bedding-out purposes.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Increase the moisture and temperature gradually as the days lengthen. Start old and young plants of Clerodendrons, Dipladenias, and Stephanotis, in a sweet bottom heat. Rondeletias to be cut in, and started in the same manner.

Shift all Orchids that are starting into growth. As a high temperature causes a premature and unhealthy growth it is advisable to keep up a healthy atmosphere of from 55 to 65, with an increase of a few degrees in sunshiny weather, when a little air, if only for a very short time, should be admitted; but be careful to avoid draughts at this early period of the year. All growing plants to be watered at the roots only, being careful not to allow any water to lodge in the axils of the leaves to cause decay. To preserve the roots of some Orchids in a healthy state it is necessary to grow them on blocks of wood; the blocks to be made proportionate to the specimens they are intended to bear; and the heel of the plant to be placed close to the end of the log, to give as much space as possible for the plant to grow upon. The following thrive well on blocks without moss:—Barkeria spectabilis, Leptotes bicolor, Phalnopsis amabilis, and Sophronitis cernua, the Brassavolas, the Cattleyas, nearly all the dwarf Epidendrums, all the Llias, and nearly all the dwarf Maxillarias and Oncidiums, and all the Schombergias.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Cucumbers.—Attend to the thinning and stopping, and impregnate the fruit blossom when open.

Figs.—Care to be taken that cold currents and sudden changes of air are excluded from the trees. The roots to be well supplied with water, and the trees to be occasionally syringed overhead.

Peaches.—When set, thin the fruit and shoots as required; to be done gradually, a little at one time, to prevent any sudden and injurious change in the system of the tree. A liberal supply of moisture to be kept up, with a temperature ranging from 55 to 65 and 70 by sunheat. A drier atmosphere is advised for trees in bloom; the bloom to be thinned if the trees are weak; and if shy setters, to be artificially impregnated, using a camel-hair pencil for that purpose.

Pines.—Be watchful about the bottom heat, and lose no time in raising the pots nearer to the surface if an approach to a burning temperature is apprehended. To be thoroughly watered when they require it, and to be syringed overhead in the morning and evening of every clear day unless the plants are in bloom, or ripening their fruit. Any crowns, suckers, or small plants not well established will do well in a pit or frame on a bed of leaves, or well sweetened dung, where they will make a rapid and vigorous growth during the summer.

Vines.—Attend to last week's instructions as to stopping all laterals, &c., and thinning the bunches in good time; and tie up all the principal shoulders with soft strands of matting. Never allow the head or hand to touch the berries. Give them plenty of air-moisture during their swelling season; to be discontinued when they begin to colour. Shy-setting sorts—such as the Black Damascus, Cannon Hall Muscat, &c.—will set better by thinning the blossom-buds before expansion, by which a more regular and compact bunch will be produced. Late Vines should be pruned and dressed; and if not frosty the lights to be removed, which will retard their breaking, and benefit the trees.

FOURTH WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

During continued frosty weather fires must be kept up in these houses, and then particular attention must be given to the New Holland plants, Heaths, and such like, which are impatient of heat, that they do not suffer from want of water. Be sure that the ball is thoroughly moistened at least once a-week.

PITS AND FRAMES.

Amongst climbers, Calampelises, Coboeas, Lophospermums, Maurandyas, Rodochitons, and Tropolums, deserve attention at this time, increasing them by cuttings or by seeds. Some annuals are also worthy of attention, such as Brachycomas, Phloxes, Portulaccas, Schizanthuses, with others which may all be forwarded in heat. Whoever has not yet attended to the propagation of plants for bedding out, should now begin, without further delay, to put in cuttings of Fuchsias, Verbenas, Heliotropes, Petunias, Salvias, Scarlet Geraniums, &c., to have good plants in May and June. All straggling and weak shoots to be topped back to form robust, bushy plants.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Some of the stove plants that have done blooming should be cut back, such as the Eranthemum pulchellum, Euphorbia jacquiniflora, Geissomeria longiflora, Gesnera lateritia, Justicias, Linum trigynum, Poinsettia pulcherrima, and others. A bottom heat will be necessary when they are repotted, which may be done in about three weeks or a month. Such of the most forward plants, as they require shifting, to be attended to. The condition or fitness for this must, in a great measure, be determined by the progress the shoots and roots have made.

FORCING-PIT.

Continue to introduce plants of Azaleas, Hyacinths, Heliotropes, Hydrangeas, Kalmias, Sedums, Lilacs, Narcissus, Pelargoniums, Pinks, Rhododendrons, and Roses in varieties. A batch of last year's young Fuchsias, Erythrinas, and Salvia patens, to be shaken out, repotted, and placed in bottom heat. Sow Balsams, Cockscombs, Globe Amaranths, &c.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Cucumbers.—Attend as previously advised to thinning and stopping, set the fruit blossom when open, keep the inside of the frames watered with warm water, and apply some occasionally to the roots. Water overhead on fine days, shutting up with 75 or 80 of heat.

Cherries.—They will be benefited by frequent syringings at all times except when in bloom. Air to be given on all favourable occasions, shutting up with as much solar heat as possible. Keep down the green fly and look well after caterpillars.

Figs.—Maintain a kindly humidity, but do not syringe overhead, except on very fine days, as too much moisture is apt to cause the fruit to drop off or to turn yellow.

Peaches.—Tie in the forwardest shoots in the early-house as they advance; gradually disbud and thin out all the shoots that are not wanted; thin the fruit but not too much at once, and, with water of the temperature of the house, syringe the trees that have set their fruit. Remove large shoots cautiously, and reserve, in tying and disbudding, merely sufficient wood for next spring.

Pines.—The atmospheric heat to be gradually increased in the fruiting-house, and the plants to be frequently syringed, taking care that no water is allowed to lodge in the hearts of the plants. The plants swelling their fruit to be watered occasionally with clean soot water, air to be admitted on every favourable opportunity, but cold draughts to be avoided. A good heat to be kept up in succession-pits worked with linings.

Strawberries.—To be placed near the glass with plenty of air, and in favourable weather to be liberally supplied with warm manure water, and the surface of the pots to be frequently stirred.

Vines.—As soon as the first swelling is completed, and the stoning process commences, allow a little more liberty to the laterals to induce a corresponding increase of root action. All shoots to be properly trained up; but none to be allowed to touch the glass. All small bunches to be removed when in flower. When the fruit is set, the heat by day may be allowed to rise from 70 to 80. See to the border coverings, if out-doors, as also border waterings, if in-doors. Be careful when admitting air to the early Vines, to avoid cold currents and changes, for in the space of an hour we have sometimes strong sunshine, sleet or snow, and cutting winds. Vines in pots to be supplied with plenty of manure water in all stages of growth, but especially when swelling off their fruit.



MARCH.

FIRST WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

Frequent attention is now necessary in the giving and taking away of air as the alternations of bright sunshine and clouds occur, and also to temper cold winds by the admission of air on the south side. If severe weather has been now experienced, and extra fire heat used in consequence, many plants that may appear all right may, nevertheless, be very dry, and if they are not examined, and when very dry, well soaked with water, they will soon show unmistakeable signs of approaching death.

Azaleas (Indian).—Young plants that have commenced their growth to be repotted. Shift Achimenes, Begonias, Gesneras, &c., and keep them in a warm, moist situation.

Bulbs.—Pot Cape and other bulbs in a compost of loam, leaf mould, with a good sprinkling of sand, as soon as they begin to make growth in foliage.

Heaths.—Continue to shift as they may require, using sandy heath-soil full of fibres, with an abundance of drainage. Be sure that the ball is thoroughly moist before shifting; for if perfectly dry when that operation is performed the waterings afterwards given will pass freely through the fresh soil without penetrating the old ball. Give them all the air possible, avoiding north or north-east winds.

Potting must be in progress, and include a good proportion of the occupants of these houses.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Push Allamandas, Clerodendrons, Stephanotises, &c., forward as briskly as possible; but be in no hurry to train them, as freedom in growth is advantageous to a certain extent. Use all means to check the increase of insects.

Orchids.—The general collection to be favoured with a good steaming every clear morning for about half an hour: this to be done by sprinkling the flues or pipes when warm. Plants in a growing state to be slightly shaded, to prevent flagging from too copious a perspiration during a sudden mid-day bright sunshine. Orchids are generally increased by passing a sharp knife between the pseudo-bulbs (taking care to leave at least two or three undisturbed next the growing shoots) so as to sever one or more of the dormant bulbs from the parent plant, which should remain until it shows signs of growth, when it may be taken off and potted.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Cherries.—The syringe to be used freely except when in bloom, plenty of air to be given, and the green fly kept down; shutting up with a little extra solar heat in the afternoons of bright days.

Figs.—Abundance of syringing and good waterings with liquid manure may now be given them. Sudden changes in their treatment will cause the fruit to drop, all the shoots when six or eight inches long to be stopped to encourage the formation of a second crop.

Melons.—Use strongish maiden loam by itself to grow them. See to the linings, attend well to setting, and maintain an airy and dry atmosphere when in blossom. Keep the shoots at all times thin.

Peaches.—Frequent attention to be given in arranging the young shoots, disbudding and thinning. A knowledge of the state of the border is necessary, whether retentive or porous, that no serious errors may be made by withholding a sufficient supply of water, or by giving too much. The temperature of the early house to be from 55 to 60 by night, ranging from 75 to 80 by sun heat, and allowing 65 by artificial heat, on dull days.

Pines.—A day temperature of 75 to 80 to be maintained during the progress of the fruit to maturity, accompanied by atmospheric moisture. Succession plants to be supplied with a steady moist heat, and to be carefully sustained after potting, to induce a healthy action of the roots. Shading is sometimes necessary during bright sunshine.

Vines.—As the lower parts of the stems are generally close to the heating apparatus, it is advisable to bind them up with moss or haybands, neatly clipped, as far as the parching heat extends. The moss or haybands being damped morning and evening with the syringe, will keep the bark and stems in a healthy state, and will frequently induce a mass of roots to be produced there. That by watering occasionally with liquid manure will contribute to sustain the vigour of the trees.

SECOND WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

As the boisterous gales and violent showers that frequently occur at this season, succeeded by intervals of mild weather and brilliant sunshine, are frequently difficult to deal with, constant attention is necessary that a free admission of air, when in a genial state, may be given, and the cold, cutting east or north-east winds excluded. Frequent watering will also be necessary, and fires to be dispensed with, or only used occasionally, merely to ward off the rigour of sharp nights. The plants in good health, and well rooted, to receive a liberal shift. All plants when shifted to be accommodated with a little extra heat and moisture in the atmosphere until they begin to make fresh roots, when they will require to be more freely exposed, to produce a sturdy, vigorous growth.

Camellias.—The plants that have finished flowering to be removed to a higher temperature, where a moist atmosphere is kept up by frequent syringings.

Cinerarias.—Tie out the principal shoots of the most forward, to form handsome plants. Manure water of the temperature of the house to be given occasionally. The more backward to be shifted into larger pots as they may require them, and all to receive plenty of air, light, and room.

Fuchsias.—They require to be accommodated with a warm, moist temperature, both at top and bottom, and the free use of the syringe, to make them large pyramidal specimens.

Pelargoniums.—Attention to be paid to their training, to watering, and to the admission of air. Shift on young plants, and stop all that may be wanted for late blooming.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Finish the shifting of all specimen plants in the stove as soon as possible. A brisk, growing, moist temperature to be kept up during the day, and to shut up early. They delight in a tan-bed where the bottom heat ranges from 70 to 80.

Orchids will now require a regular looking over. Those on blocks of wood with moss should have the moss renewed, and fresh turf to be supplied to those in pots in a growing state.

FORCING-HOUSES.

The general routine in these structures will comprise disbudding, tying-in advancing shoots, thinning the fruit, watering, syringing morning and evening, airing, and shutting up early with plenty of solar heat; and to be each and all attended to in good time to obtain satisfactory results.

Cherries.—Caution in the application of water is now necessary, as either too much or too little will cause the fruit to drop.

Cucumbers.—The heat of the beds, which will be found to decline rapidly during cold winds, should be kept up by fresh linings; and air to be given daily, to allow the superfluous moisture to escape, taking care to prevent the wind from entering the frames by placing a mat or canvass before the openings.

Figs.—A free supply of water, with liquid manure occasionally, to be given to the most forward crop. Where there is the convenience, the trees in pots are generally placed in a pit of rotten leaves into which they root, and where they are allowed to remain until they have borne their crops and ripened their wood, when the roots are cut back to the pot. Trees planted out succeed best when confined in brick pits, where short-jointed fruitful wood is produced without root pruning, which is necessary when the roots are allowed to ramble without control.

Melons.—This is a good time to ridge-out plants, as the sun will have a powerful and beneficial influence at the time when it will be most wanted to ripen off the fruit. Pot off young plants, and sow seed for a succession.

Pines.—Continue to keep up a regular and moist heat; to be supplied with soot or other manure water occasionally during the whole time they are swelling the fruit until they attain their full size; watering and syringing overhead should be withheld when they begin to change colour, to give flavour to the fruit. The succession-plants recently potted to be very moderately supplied with manure water, and in a very diluted state until their roots reach the sides of the pots.

Strawberries.—Introduce succession-plants under glass, according to the demand. Keep the atmosphere dry when the plants are in bloom and near the glass; admitting at all opportunities a good supply of fresh air without currents.

Vines.—Persevere in thinning the bunches, as it is a mistake to leave more on the Vine than it is likely to finish off to perfection. The borders to be examined that a gentle warmth may be maintained at the roots. When the Vines are planted inside, apply good soakings of manure water occasionally. Thin the shoots of the late Vines as soon as the bunches are perceptible.

THIRD WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

Proceed as diligently as possible with the repotting of such of the hardwooded greenhouse plants as require it, so as to start them in good time to acquire a vigorous growth.

Cacti.—The chief point in managing these plants is to allow them an alternate period of rest and growth. To be grown in a mixture of lime rubbish and loam, with a little cowdung, and in well-drained pots. In summer to be fully exposed to the sun, and well watered; and from October to March to be kept perfectly dry.

Calceolarias (Herbaceous).—To be shifted into larger pots in a compost of equal quantities of decayed turf, leaf mould, good sandy peat, old cowdung, and silver sand, with plenty of drainage and moss on the crocks. To be kept close for a week, after which air may be freely given, avoiding currents of cold air.

Heaths.—Every vigorous shoot that is taking the lead to be stopped, to produce a more uniform and compact plant.

Lilium lancifolium.—To be potted either in a good peat, with a little silver sand, or in a light sandy loam, using also some silver sand. The bulb to be placed two or three inches deep from the top of the pot to allow room for the stem-fibres to penetrate the soil.

Pelargoniums.—The plants potted last month to be stopped back. The house to be kept rather close for a week or ten days, to assist them to push out their eyes. Those intended to bloom in May, that have not been stopped since cutting down, will be putting up their trusses, on sunny days syringe them lightly, and shut the house up warm, with the sun upon it, about three or four o'clock in the afternoon.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Keep a lively growing temperature here during the day, with a plentiful supply of moisture. Syringe, and shut up early, with 80 or more, allowing a fall of 20 during the night. Shake out and repot in succession the stove plants that have been previously recommended to be headed back, and encourage a free growth by plunging them, if possible, in bottom heat. Smaller pots to be used until they have filled them with roots, they may then receive one bold shift that might probably be sufficient for the season.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Cherries.—These may now want thinning if too thickly set; but the operation must be influenced by the energies of the tree and the action of the roots. Endeavour to keep the atmosphere like fine mild weather in May. During the period of the stoning of the fruit, give the trees no water at the roots, as this is generally one of the chief causes of so much of it falling off at that time.

Figs.—When the fruit is swelling off, the trees to be liberally supplied with water. The young shoots to be stopped to four or five eyes, with the exception of those that are required to fill up vacancies.

Melons.—Continue the thinning, stopping, training, &c., as required. Set the early crops when in blossom, keeping a dry and lively atmosphere during that period. Air to be given freely in favourable weather, but cautiously, with some contrivance to break cold winds. Do not allow a plant to swell a fruit until sufficiently strong to sustain it.

Peaches.—Be moderate in the application of fire heat to those that are stoning (they make little or no progress in swelling during the period)—say 65 by day and 60 by night; but when they commence their second swell increase the heat moderately. Stop all luxuriant shoots, and thin out in the second house all clusters of fruit when about the size of Peas.

Pines.—The fruiting plants will be benefited by a watering with manure water as soon as the bloom is set. Succession plants, if recently shifted, to be shaded in the middle of the day if the sun is powerful; to be kept rather close and dry, except slight sprinklings over the tops, until they have taken root, when they may be watered freely, and will generally require no more to be given for a week or ten days.

Vines.—The atmosphere in the early house, where the bunches have been thinned, to be kept pure by a gradual increase of air and moisture. The night temperature to be kept up to 65, with an increase of 10 by day, and even more in bright sunshine. The second house may now be in bloom, and will require attention in tying the shoots and keeping up the necessary amount of heat, with less moisture. Where the fruit is set, give the Vines a good syringing, to wash off the flowers; after which the leaves and fruit should not be again wetted, but to be supplied with atmospheric moisture by watering the floor of the house, and sprinkling the flues or pipes, or from evaporating-troughs or pans. Give plenty of tepid manure water to the Vines fruiting in pots.

FOURTH WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

As the great proportion of greenhouse plants are now commencing, or are in active growth, constant attention will be required for the judicious regulation of temperature, and for the admission of fresh air during fickle and ungenial weather, and in the supply of water to the roots, and atmospheric moisture.

When settled fine spring weather has arrived, every plant which inhabits a pot should be brought at once under review, and put in proper condition for the growing season. No fear need then be apprehended from potting. Keep up a moist atmosphere by sprinkling, &c., and admit plenty of air, bearing in mind former directions as to draughts, &c. If the plants in the borders, or any of the climbers, are dry, give them a good soaking of weak, tepid manure water. Trellis climbers to be frequently attended to—stopping, training, and arranging their shoots.

Balsams.—Encourage the growth of them and other such tender annuals by potting them when the roots begin to cluster round the side of the pot.

Calceolarias (Herbaceous).—Shift on the young stock, keeping the plants well down in the pots, so as to bring the earth in the pots up to the lowermost leaves, to induce the plants to throw out fresh rootlets from the stem. Keep a sharp look out for green fly.

Climbers.—Prune off superfluous shoots; stop or pinch out the tops of gross leaders, and keep them neatly tied and trained.

Cockscombs.—To remain in small pots until they begin to show flower.

Dahlias.—Pot off cuttings as soon as struck.

Fuchsias.—Continue to shift young plants into larger-sized pots, according to their height and strength; to be kept growing by placing them in a brisk, moist heat. Cuttings to be potted off as soon as they are sufficiently rooted; to be placed in a temperature similar to that in which they were struck.

Sow in heat seeds of stove and greenhouse plants.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Attend to regular shifting, watering, and a free and healthy circulation of air, without draught, early in the morning to stove plants. Continue to cut down, disroot, and repot, as advised last week, those which have been flowering through the winter. To be then favoured with a bottom heat of from 75 to 80, and slightly shaded during bright sunshine.

Some of the young plants in the stove which are growing on for specimens will probably require a second shift, see to them in time; and if they are in good health treat them liberally by giving a large shift, especially to plants of free growth. Give plenty of air at all favourable opportunities, and saturate the atmosphere with moisture. The surface of the tan to be stirred once or twice a-week, and sprinkle it occasionally with manure water, to produce a moist, congenial atmosphere about the plants. Shut up with plenty of sun heat. Look sharply after mealy-bug and thrips.

Achimenes.—The plants established in small pots may be removed into the flowering-pans, putting six plants into a pan.

Orchids.—Increase the temperature, and ply the syringe among them, as they will now grow rapidly. Be careful not to throw too much water over those sending out succulent flower-stalks, for they may damp off. Ferret out and destroy cockroaches, woodlice, and snails. Calantha veratifolia, Neottia picta, N. elata, Phaius of sorts, some varieties of Stanhopea, Zygopetaltum Mackayii, and other such Orchids that are now making their growth, would be benefited by an application of clear, diluted manure water occasionally; a kindly humidity to be kept up, and the shading to be in readiness for use during bright mid-day sun.

PITS AND FRAMES.

Sow tender and half-hardy annuals; pot off those already up; give air daily, and never allow the plants to flag for want of water. Pot off cuttings of Dahlias, and continue the propagation of Fuchsias, Heliotropes, Petunias, Verbenas, and bedding-plants generally.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Beans (French).—Give them, when in a bearing state, a liberal supply of manure water, and see to keeping up a succession of them.

Cherries.—When you are sure that the fruit is finally stoned, the temperature may be raised a few degrees; air and water overhead to be liberally supplied.

Cucumbers.—As soon as the frames are uncovered in the morning give a little air for an hour, to let the stagnant and foul air pass off, when they may be closed again till the day is further advanced. As soon as the principal shoots have reached the side of the frame, never allow any of the laterals to grow more than two joints before being stopped. Stop frequently, and thin liberally; where two fruit show at a joint pinch one away.

Figs.—If red spider should be observed, wash the flues or the walls exposed to the sun with lime and sulphur.

Melons.—Those lately planted out to be encouraged with a close, moist heat, to get them into free growth as quickly as possible. The plants that are fairly established to be kept cooler, admitting air at every favourable opportunity, to produce short-jointed fruitful wood. The shoots to be kept thin and regular, pinching out any that are not wanted. The night temperature not to exceed 65, and air to be admitted as soon as the thermometer rises to 75; but to be given very cautiously during cold winds. Prepare for raising plenty of young plants for succession crops, and endeavour to have them strong and vigorous by keeping them near the glass; to be provided, when they require it, with plenty of pot-room. Keep up the heat in the beds by renewing the linings; the coverings at night to be regulated in accordance with the heat of the beds, taking care that the mats do not hang over either the front or back of the frames.

Mushrooms.—Collect materials for fresh beds, and give those that have been some time in bearing good soakings of manure water; sprinkle the floor and heating apparatus occasionally. The conditions of success are to have the materials for making the beds well prepared and sweet—that is, free from rank steam, and the spawn to be put in whilst the heat keeps regular and moderate, and the beds are coated over to keep it so until the spawn is well established.

Peaches.—Remove all superfluous shoots, and tie in neatly those that are left; thin the fruit that is swelling off before stoning, leaving more than may be ultimately required, as, in stoning, it is liable to drop off. Syringe the trees daily in fine weather. Where it is intended to force Peaches, Cherries, &c., in pots next season, and some suitable trees have to be provided, it should be no longer postponed. It is a good plan to pot some maiden plants every year, to succeed any that may become useless.

Pines.—Give plants swelling their fruit plenty of manure water, and a humid atmosphere. The fruiting-house may range from 80 to 85 during the day, and as near 70 as possible at night; the succession-pits from 75 to 80 during day, and 60 to 65 at night. These particulars to be modified by the state of the weather, whether sunny or dull.

Strawberries.—They require plenty of light and air to set their fruit, when they may be removed without fear of injury to a stove, or any other house or pit possessing a higher temperature. The plants swelling their fruit require a liberal supply of water, and a sprinkling overhead daily. When the fruit begins to change colour the sprinkling to be dispensed with, and the supply of water at the roots to be given sparingly.

Vines.—If the Grapes are colouring, a free circulation of air, accompanied with a high temperature, will be advantageous. Attention to be given, where fermenting materials have been used for warming the borders, that the heat is not allowed to decline at present under the influence of the March winds. Attend to last week's advice as to tying, disbudding, &c., and proceed with the thinning the fruit in the succession-house as soon as the berries are fairly set. When thinning be as careful as possible of the bunches—neither pull them about with the hand, by which rust on the berries is frequently produced, nor with whatever the shoulders may be held up by at the time of thinning, as, by the twisting of the stalks, shanking is not unfrequently produced. Attention to be given in stopping all laterals, and breaking off all useless shoots for the more free admission of light, which is most beneficial in every stage of their growth. Look over houses where the fruit is swelling, and see if any of the bunches would be improved by tying up the shoulders. Any healthy Vines, but not of good kinds, should be inarched before the wood gets too old.



APRIL.

FIRST WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

The shifting and repotting of all specimen plants in these houses have been completed, I hope, before this time; but if not, the sooner they are done the better. Keep up a moist atmosphere, sprinkling the plants with tepid water twice or thrice a week; and pay attention to the destruction of insects the moment you can perceive them.

Camellias.—As the plants go out of bloom, it is advisable to syringe them freely, shutting up early with solar heat, and maintaining a kindly humidity during the time they are making their growth.

Fuchsias.—Supply them liberally with water when in full growth, and shade slightly during bright sunshine.

Heaths.—To be kept free from strong currents of dry air; rambling growth to be stopped.

Liliums.—Give them a liberal supply of water, and a top dressing of turfy peat, sand, and well-decomposed cowdung.

New Holland Plants.—Give such plants as young Boronias, Dillwynias, Dracophyllums, Eriostemons, Leschenaultias, Pimeleas, Polygalas, &c., a tolerably-close corner of the house; stop the young growth as it may require it; keep them clean, and repot them when necessary.

Pelargoniums.—Tie and stake the larger plants neatly, without loss of time, and shift the smaller ones into larger pots. The roots will feed greedily on oyster-shells, broken very fine at the bottom of the pot. Put in cuttings for flowering in September and October.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Keep up a sweet, moist atmosphere with a regular circulation of air, using an abundance of water about the floors; and syringe frequently air plants and others suspended. Shut up a solar heat, if possible, of 80 towards three or four o'clock.

Achimenes.—Shift them, and also Gesneras, and pot others for succession.

Begonias.—When the flowers begin to decline, the plants may be reduced, and potted into smaller pots, and be kept close for some time afterwards. Put in cuttings of them, if not attended to before; and also cuttings of Eranthemums, Euphorbias, Gesneras, Justicias, Linums, &c.

Clerodendrons.—Give them plenty of room and encouragement to grow.

Orchids.—They should have a mild, but regularly moist, atmosphere for a few weeks until they begin to grow; no water to be applied until that period, and then with moderation.

FORCING-PIT.

Get in Balsams, Cockscombs, Globe Amaranthuses, and other such plants from the dung-frame, that will be useful for the summer and autumn decoration of the greenhouse and conservatory.

FORCING-HOUSE.

Cherries.—If all the petals have dropped, and the fruit is set, the temperature may be raised to 60 by day and 50 by night, and syringed in the evening three or four times during the week. A sharp look out should be kept for curled leaves, and the grubs that nestle in them destroyed.

Figs.—If the fruit is swelling off, supply the trees liberally with water; stop the young shoots at the fourth or fifth eye. Temperature, 65 by day and 55 by night.

Melons.—The supply of air and water must be regulated by the state of the weather and the temperature of the bed. The plants sometimes show one or two fruit at an early period of their growth, which should be picked off, as they would prevent the swelling off of others. The vines, or shoots, after being frequently stopped, and when they have nearly filled the frame, or other allotted space, several fruit should be impregnated at one time. Sow for successional crop.

Peaches and Nectarines.—Pinch off laterals, and tie in the shoots as they advance in growth. If green fly makes its appearance, fumigate the house; but if only a few shoots are infested, dip them in tobacco water. When the fruit in the early house are stoned, thin them to the number you wish to retain, and use a pair of scissors, which is better than pulling them off.

Pine Apples.—The plants should now be making rapid growth, and, therefore, will require a liberal supply of water. Fruiting plants may now be turned out of their pots into prepared beds, selecting those that are not very forward. The fruiting-house may range from 80 to 85 during day, and from 65 to 70 at night. The successions from 75 to 80 by day, and from 65 to 70 at night.

Strawberries.—When out of bloom, give them a liberal supply of water, syringe freely, and keep down insects by fumigation.

Vines.—If forcing were begun early in December, whether with Vines in pots or established vines, the colouring process will have now commenced. When such is the case, admit air freely on all favourable opportunities; but avoid draughts, or cutting winds, which frequently cause rust and other imperfections in the bunches. In the later houses, attend to thinning, tying, and stopping laterals. The last house to be closed early in the afternoon. As the buds, in most cases, will be considerably advanced, it is advisable to syringe frequently; to apply plenty of moisture to the floors and paths; and to postpone the application of fire-heat as long as possible.

SECOND WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

Some of the most hardy and woody plants may be removed from the greenhouse to a cold pit, where they can be protected from frost. It will make more room for the Cinerarias, Pelargoniums, and other such plants.

Azaleas.—Such as have done blooming to be repotted, and their fresh growth to be gently promoted in a higher temperature for a short time.

Camellias.—Continue to keep a moist atmosphere about the plants making wood, with a temperature of about 65 by day and 55 by night. Air to be given at all opportunities, to produce sturdy, short-jointed wood. The plants in flower to be shaded during bright sunshine.

Cinerarias.—Regular attention to be given to them, that they may not suffer by want of water.

Climbers.—Regulate them as they grow, more particularly those in pots which are intended to cover a wire trellis. Kennedyas, Thunbergias, Nierembergias, Tropolums, and other such plants of a slender and tender habit, delight in a soil the greater proportion being composed of leaf mould.

Chrysanthemums.—Strike cuttings, and pot off rooted suckers.

Heaths.—Any requiring repotting, should receive that attention without delay, apportioning the size of the pot to the vigour of their growth; as the free-growing kinds will require more room than the less vigorous ones.

New Holland Plants.—As many of them are now either in flower, or approaching that state, they will, consequently, require a larger quantity of water,—more especially large specimens not shifted since last season. Continue to pinch off the tops of the leading shoots, to produce bushy plants.

Pelargoniums.—Attention to be given in tying up, watering, and fumigating, if the green fly appears.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

As the soft-wooded stove plants will now be making rapid growth, the free admission of light is necessary to prevent them from drawing; using shade only during scorching sunshine. When a plant is shifted, give less water to the roots; as the fresh soil, after the first watering will be moist enough for some time. Some of the free-growing kinds of Cattleyas, Calanthes, Phaiuses, Saccolabiums, Stanhopeas, and Zygopetalums, should be encouraged to make kindly growth by frequent syringings about their pots, blocks, or baskets.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Cherries.—The principal objects to be attended to are—abundance of air, with due precaution against cold draughts, a moist atmosphere, and the free application of the syringe. The temperature the same as last week. Particular attention in watering to be paid to the trees in pots,—as too much is as bad as, if not worse than, too little.

Figs.—Continue stopping the young shoots at the fourth or fifth eye. Keep the syringe in frequent use until the fruits begin to change for ripening. Plenty of water, and occasionally a little weak tepid liquid manure, to be given at the roots, more especially when they are confined in pots or tubs.

Melons.—As soon as a sufficient number of fruit blossoms for a crop are expanded, or are likely to expand within a day or two of each other, they should be impregnated. As prevention is better than cure, keep the plants in a healthy-growing state by frequent syringings in fine weather, and closing early; insects will but rarely, if ever, attack thriving plants.

Peaches and Nectarines.—As soon as the stoning of the fruit in the early house is completed, give them a good watering with clear, weak liquid manure; keep the shoots tied in regularly, and pinch off all laterals. If the fruits in the late house are set, partially thin them; as more dependence may now be placed on a crop than at an earlier period of the season.

Pine Apples.—Fruiting plants will be greatly benefited by strong solar heat, as, under its influence, evaporation will be rapid; therefore, water must be applied to both roots and leaves. Succession plants to be shaded during sudden bright sunshine or sunbursts; and be guided in the application of water by the active or inactive state of the roots.

Vines.—Thinning the fruit is an operation of primary importance. The first thinning to be performed when the berries are the size of Peas; the second when they begin to be crowded; and the third after the berries are stoned. A piece of strong wire, eight or ten inches long, crooked at one end, is useful to draw the bunches backward and forward, as the operator may require. The Vines in the late house to be tied up as soon as they begin to break. Syringe them every fine afternoon, and close the house early. Give air early in the morning, that the leaves may become gradually dry before the sun acts powerfully upon them.

THIRD WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

Keep the conservatory as cool by day as is consistent with the health of the plants. By such means they will remain longer in bloom, and will be more enjoyable for parties inspecting them.

Camellias.—Continue to encourage the growth of those that have done flowering by increasing the temperature, by frequent syringings, and by a liberal supply of water at the roots. If any have made their growth, and have formed their blossom-buds, they will require more light and less moisture for the future.

Cinerarias.—To continue them in a healthy blooming state it is necessary to attend to them carefully, that they may not droop for want of water, nor be saturated with it. When the sun is powerful, slight shading is necessary for a few hours in the middle of the day, to prevent the blooms from losing their brilliancy; and plenty of air to be given when the weather is mild.

Fuchsias.—Having been treated with plenty of heat and moisture, they will now be making rapid growth, and will be fit to shift into their blooming-pots, using a light, rich soil for the purpose.

New Holland Plants.—Top and syringe frequently all such plants as are growing freely. Stake and tie them as they may require.

Pelargoniums.—Continue to stake and tie the shoots that require it in due time. Some clear liquid manure (cowdung water, for instance) may be given to plants that are well established with roots and showing their trusses of bloom; and sufficient space to be given for each plant to develope its natural beauty. We would advise shading only when there is a fear of scorching from the usual sudden sunbursts of April weather. Ply the syringe every fine evening to refresh the plants, and to keep down insects, until the flowers expand, when syringing should be discontinued.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

The stove plants recently potted will now be making fresh growth. Allow no diminution of bottom heat, and keep up a warm, moist atmosphere. Give air when the thermometer indicates 90. Continue to shift Gesneras, Clerodendrons, and other such free-growing plants, as they require it. The Brassias, Cattleyas, some of the Dendrobiums, Gongoras, Peristerias, Phaiuses, Sobralias, Zygopetalums, and other such Orchids, will now be growing freely, and will therefore require a considerable amount of atmospheric moisture. If the roof is covered with climbers, a little management in trimming them will obviate the necessity of outside shading, and will give an additional feature of interest to the house. The plants on blocks, or suspended in baskets, will require very frequent syringings to keep them in a healthy-growing state. Plants in bloom may be removed to the conservatory, or any other house with a drier atmosphere, to prolong their period of blooming.

FORCING-HOUSE.

Cherries.—When they begin to change they will require free exposure to light, and abundance of air, to bring out their colour; and, at the same time, a diminution in the supply of water. Carefully examine all curled leaves, and destroy the grubs they contain. If the trees are very luxuriant, and are making strong foreright shoots, stop them to within a few buds of the main branch.

Figs.—Give the trees in pots some clear liquid manure when they are swelling off. Stop the shoots at about six or eight inches, and thin out any useless shoots. Syringe and water freely.

Melons.—Keep the vines thin, and stop regularly. Shade only in very hot weather. Water sparingly overhead. Plant out succession crops.

Peaches and Nectarines.—When the fruit in the early house has gone through the critical process of stoning, the final thinning should take place; the borders—if inside, or out, or both—should be copiously supplied with water; using liquid manure whenever a weak habit, from poor soil or over-exhaustion, shows it to be necessary. Syringings to be given twice a-day—early in the morning and at shutting-up time. The night temperature to be no more than 50; but during the day it may range to 85, if accompanied with air in liberal quantities.

Pine Apples.—Lessen the moisture amongst the fruiting plants when they approach maturity. Shift and grow on the young stock in a moist atmosphere; admit air freely in fine weather; prepare beds, and turn out the plants, if preferred.

Strawberries.—They should be kept near the glass: temperature, 65 to 70 by day, and 55 to 60 by night; succession crops rather cooler. Reduce the water to those ripening. Support the stems, and thin the fruit where superior produce is wanted. Keep them clear of runners and decayed leaves, and give an abundance of air.

Vines.—Continue to thin the Grapes in the early houses: a few berries may require to be taken out of some of the bunches up to the time of their changing colour. Keep up a high temperature—about 75 by day and 60 by night: in later houses, where the bunches are in course of formation, it is a great object to bring them out well. In later houses, where the bunches are formed, or in bloom, let the heat be moderately increased, and admit an abundance of air at all favourable opportunities. Shift pot Vines often, and keep them near the light.

FOURTH WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

The plants that are introduced to the conservatory from the stove, forcing-pit, or any other such structures, merely for the blooming season, will require particular care to be taken in the application of water that they may not become sodden and diseased. Continue to stop, prune, or pinch back all rambling and luxuriant shoots in due time. Stir the surface of the bed in the conservatory, and apply fresh soil, to maintain the plants in good health.

Azaleas, Chinese.—Supply them liberally with water at their roots during their blooming season, and prevent damp and drip from injuring the bloom.

Calceolarias.—The herbaceous sorts that have been pushed along in a gentle heat will now be showing bloom, and will require to be grown in a cool, airy place, to prevent the flower-stems from being too much drawn. Keep down green fly. Shift on young stock, keeping the plants well down in the pots as they throw out fresh rootlets from the stem. Cuttings taken off now will root readily in a gentle bottom heat.

Camellias.—Apply shading the moment it is necessary, to protect the young leaves.

Fuchsias.—Grow them steadily on in a moist, warm temperature. Use the syringe freely. Stop any that have a tendency to be long-jointed, to produce uniform and bushy plants.

Heaths.—Admit air liberally to them, and such other hard-wooded plants that are now in bloom, or approaching that state.

Pelargoniums.—Shift on young plants. Any that are wanted for late blooming should now be stopped.

Rhododendrons, Hybrid Indian.—Treat as advised for Azaleas.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Continue a kindly moistness amongst the Orchids, and slightly increase the temperature. Shade with tiffany, or close-meshed netting, in bright sunny weather; removing it early in the afternoon. Water liberally all that are making free growth. Repot any that may require it as soon as they have fairly commenced their growth. Continue to give liberal shifts to the free-growing young stock of stove plants, slightly shading for a few hours in hot weather, shutting up early in the afternoon, and producing a kindly humid atmosphere by damping the walls, floors, pots, &c.

Begonias.—Repot and propagate. This is one of the most useful tribe of plants that can be grown, both for the stove and the adornment of the conservatory.

Clerodendrons.—Encourage by a moist heat.

Climbers.—Keep them neatly tied up, and give them liberal supplies of water, if in pots.

Gardenias.—They delight in a close atmosphere; a pit with dung linings is most congenial to them.

Gesnera zebrina.—Pot bulbs for late flowering.

FORCING-HOUSES.

Cherries.—Thin out the fruit where in large clusters; admit plenty of air at favourable opportunities, and never allow the trees in tubs, or pots, to become dry.

Figs.—The same as last week.

Peaches and Nectarines.—Keep the leading shoots regularly tied in, and pinch out the points of some of the stronger ones.

Pine Apples.—It is advisable to keep all that are starting, or have already started, into fruit, at one end of the house, or pit, that more air may be admitted to them than to the others more advanced, to produce a more robust growth, and to avoid the necessity of using stakes to support the fruit. Air to be admitted freely to the succession plants at every favourable opportunity.

Strawberries (in pots).—Where fruit are colouring, keep a rather dry atmosphere, with a liberal supply of air, in order to secure flavour. When the plants are in bloom, keep them near the glass, and the atmosphere dry, with a good supply of fresh air; but avoid currents of frosty air. Introduce succession plants under glass according to the demand. Do not expose those from which fruit has been picked to the open air till well hardened off. Give them the protection of a cold pit for a time, as they are invaluable in open-air plantations.

Vines.—Where the fruit is on the change to colouring admit air on every favourable opportunity, not forgetting to give it in the morning before the sun shines on the house, to prevent the condensed vapour, which would affect them injuriously, from settling on the bunches. Attend to stopping the laterals, thinning the young shoots, tying in leaders, &c., in the later houses. Remove the top dressing from the outside border, to allow the increasing power of the sun to act beneficially upon it.



MAY.

FIRST WEEK.

GREENHOUSE AND CONSERVATORY.

Attend in due time to all plants that require potting into larger pots; and pinch off the tops of all that are of a rambling or loose habit of growth, to make them compact and bushy.

Azaleas.—As soon as they are out of bloom, take them into heat to make their growth, syringing them frequently and supplying them occasionally with manure water, and shade for a short time in the middle of the day when the sun is powerful.

Calceolarias.—Give them weak liquid manure occasionally, and shade those in bloom.

Cinerarias.—When done flowering, cut the stems down, to favour the development of suckers, and remove them to a cold pit or frame.

Climbers.—Keep all neatly trained.

Heaths and New Holland Plants.—The late-flowering sorts, or such as have already flowered, and the young stock intended for another season, may be removed to cold pits or frames. Such plants as require it must be shifted, stopped, and shaded; particular attention being paid that they do not get dry at the root.

Pelargoniums.—Shade such as are in flower; and shift and stop such as are wanted to flower late.

STOVE AND ORCHID-HOUSE.

Keep up a kind humidity and a gradual increase of temperature in correspondence with the increase of solar light, and shut up early in the afternoon with sun heat. Continue to propagate the choice stove plants, and keep all free from insects.

Achimenes.—Pot off.

Begonias.—Continue to repot as they go out of bloom, pruning in any straggling shoots, and propagate as advised last week. Keep them close, and syringe frequently, when they will soon commence growing. Keep them some distance apart, to allow their fine foliage to expand. The following are good sorts:—Prestoniensis, Cinnabarina, Fuchsioides, Martiana, Zebrina, Barkeri, Rubra, and Argyrostigma.

Gloxinias.—Repot where necessary.

Succulents.—Opuntias, Melocacti, and Epiphyllum, to be excited into vigorous growth by intense light and abundance of heat and moisture.

FORCING-HOUSE.

Cherries.—Temperature 65 to 70 by day and 50 at night, and give plenty of air; but guard against wet and cold.

Figs.—Stop and thin the shoots. Keep a damp atmosphere, and use the syringe over the foliage, when the house, or pit, is shut up in the afternoon, to keep down red spider. When the fruit is ripening, the syringe must be dispensed with, and the atmosphere kept drier; but, as there is generally a succession of fruit on the trees, water must not be wholly withheld at the time of the first crop ripening, as it would endanger the succeeding one; but it may be given more sparingly.

Melons.—Stop and keep the shoots very thin. When the crop is safely set, give the soil a good soaking of clear, tepid manure water. Let swelling fruit be exposed as much as possible to the light.

Peaches.—Continue to stop all gross shoots, which will both increase the size of the fruit and the smaller shoots at the bottom of the tree. The syringe, when used frequently, is useful for the same purpose, and to keep down insects. Air and light to be admitted, to give flavour and colouring to the ripening fruit.

Pines.—The fruiting plants now swelling, and in pots, may be treated with a little clear liquid manure. Guano water, or soot water, or both combined, will produce a perceptible improvement in foliage and growth, with the caution that it be given in a warm, clear state, and not too strong. Ply the syringe freely on warm afternoons, and close up with a temperature of 85 or 90; giving air again towards evening. When indications of ripening by changing colour appear, desist from the use of the syringe, and give them no further supplies at the root.

Strawberries.—When ripening their fruit they may be placed in a frame where a free admission of air can be given.

Vines.—Encourage the young stock intended for growing in pots next year, to make healthy, luxuriant growth, by giving them plenty of pot room and manure water, to set them in a light situation in some of the forcing-houses, and to pay early attention to the leaders as they advance in growth. Where Muscats are growing with Hamburghs and other such free-setting varieties, it is advisable to keep up a brisk day-temperature for the Muscats during their season of blooming, and until their berries are fairly set, with a reduction to a night-temperature of 65 or 68, to suit the other varieties.

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.

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