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injured and unfit for use. Some gardeners use paper round the stalks ; but this is unnecessary if the stalks are held together, and care is taken when earthing-up is done.
Cress and Mustard.-Sow a little seed every now and then in a small, well-manured piece of ground. The plants will need water frequently when they come up, and subsequently.
Endive.-Seed may be sown in a seed bed or in boxes, and when the seedlings have grown large enough to handle they may be transplanted. This plant is best suited to a warm climate. Plant out about 1 foot or 15 inches apart. When the plants are pretty well full grown the leaves should be tied together so that the inner ones may become white and tender.
Herbs. -Seeds of all kinds may be sown. These useful plants should not be forgotten. Sow in pots, boxes, or seed beds, and afterwards transplant. Parsley should be transplanted whilst it is very young, for it soon sends out a long tap-root, which had better not be broken. · Lettuce.--Sow seed in the seed bed for future planting out. If any strong young lettuces are to be had plant them out in rich, well-dug ground. It is very often the custom to sow lettuce seed, at this season of the year, in rows where the plants are to grow, and not transplant, because the lettuces are very likely to run quickly to seed.
Leek. This time of year is about the best season to sow seed largely of leeks. Prepare a seed bed and sow in rows. When the plants are about 6 or 8 inches in height they may be transplanted to a bed made exceedingly rich with good farm-yard manure. Make shallow trenches and plant in rows about 18 inches apart, the leeks to stand about 9 inches from each other. Water and liquid manure will be needed often if it is desired to grow the best of plants.
Peas. —In cool, moist climates sow a few rows of this excellent vegetable. Prepare the ground well, and, if it is poor, apply a good deal of farm-yard manure.
Radish.-Sow a little seed occasionally to keep up a supply.
Sea Kale.-Sow a little seed in a seed-bed and afterwards transplant the seedlings, just as cabbages are planted, to well-manured, deeply-prepared ground; when the plants attain a good size they need to be covered and blanched, and for this purpose special kinds of pots are made, but dead leaves, manures with plenty of straw, boxes, or something to keep the light away from the plants, will answer.
Spinach. Sow seed in drills in rich, rather moist, but well drained soil. Let the drills be about 18 inches apart, and when the seedlings appear, thin them out well. This is a very good vegetable and well worth growing.
Shallots and Garlic.—Plant out in drills about 1 foot apart as much of this useful vegetable as is likely to be required. The bulbs or cloves can be purchased from any seedsman, Dig the ground deep and manure it well. When planting just press the bulb firmly into the soil. Keep the plants free from weeds as they grow. Garlic may be planted out in the same way as the above, taking care to divide the bulbs.
Flowers. March is a good time of the year to plant out many kinds of bulbs, and no one should be without daffodils, crocuses, snowdrops, sparaxis, ixias, hya. cinths, &c. These may all be planted, and the earlier the better; that is, if the soil has been prepared for them. They can be planted singly, in clumps, or in rows, or in any way in which you please or circumstances may require. You cannot do wrong in planting bulbs to almost any extent, for they are so pretty and ornamental that they cannot fail to please everyone, and no
snowdrops, and snowflakes will come to the greatest perfection in the cool climates in this Colony, but they will give great satisfaction almost everywhere. After planting, spread a mulch of cow or horse dung over them. The depths for planting should vary with size and variety, the largest from 3 to 4 inches, and the smallest about an inch. It would be adrisable to have the ground properly drained, for bulbs will not succeed in ground too wet. All the charming little flowers, dear to almost everyone-daisies, cowslips, primroses, polyanthuses, auriculas, pansies, and so on-may be planted during the latter part of the month. Violets, too, should not be forgotten, and they, especially the double varieties, come to the greatest perfection in our coolest climates, although the singles succeed fairly well almost anywhere, if there is sufficient moisture for them. Sow some seeds of ten-week stocks in a bed, or in boxes, for transplanting when the seedlings are large enough to move. The plants will flower in the spring. All sorts of hardy annuals and perennials may be sown either in the garden where they are to flower or in boxes or pots. It will probably be the best way to sow in boxes or pots, and afterwards transplant, because seedlings in the garden whilst very young and tender are so liable to injury from insects and other causes. As numbers of the readers of these directions may be new to flower-gardening, and the names are not familiar, they are advised to obtain Eeeds of some or all of the following :-Anagallis grandiflora, or Pimperne!; Anchusa capensis, hardy perennial; Anterrhinum, or Snapdragon of varieties, hardy perennials; Aquilegea, or Columbine, of various kinds, hardy perennials; Asperula odorata, or Woodruff, a rery old English flower, hardy perennial; Auriculas of varieties, hardy annual; Campanulas of variety, hardy perennial; Candytuft of varieties; Coreopsis of varieties, hardy annuals; Carnations of varieties, hardy perennials; Centaurea of varieties, hardy annuals ; Annual Chrysanthemums of varieties ; Clarkia of varieties, hardy annuals ; Cosmos of varieties, hardy annuals ; Coreopsis of varieties, especially Glandiflora, hardy biennial; Dianthus Heddewigii ; Delphinium, or Larkspur, of varieties ; Digitalis, or Foxglove; Eschscholtzia, hardy perennial, of varieties; Freesia bulb, but easily raised from seed, will flower the first season ; Hedysarum coronarium, French Honeysuckle, hardy perennial; Gaillardia of varieties; Godetia of varieties, hardy annuals, extremely pretty free flowering plants; Senecio elegans, or Jacobia, hardy annuals; Everlasting Pea; Sweet Pea of varieties; Lobelia of varieties, hardy annuals ; Perennial Lobelia, Cardinalis ; Linuni grandiflorum rubrum nigella hispanica, or Love in a Mist, hardy annual ; Lupines of varieties, hardy annuals ; French and African Marigolds; Migno. nette, hardy annual; Nemophila, hardy annual; Nasturtium of varieties; Pansies of varieties, hardy annuals ; Penstemon of varieties, hardy perennials; Phlox Drummondii of varieties, some of the prettiest of annuals ; Poppies of varieties, hardy annuals ; Perennial Poppies; Polyanthus, hardy perennial ; Scabious of varieties, hardy perennial ; Sweet Sultan, hardy annual ; Sweet William ; and Wallflower.
The seeds should be sown with care on a finely-prepared surface of soil which has been made fine as well as level. Sow very thin and barely cover with soil. Keep moist, but not too damp. When strong enough plant in the garden.
Cuttings of roses, pelargoniums, fuchsias, geraniums, verbenas, and many other plants will strike easily this month. Shade well after planting, and keep them moist, but not too damp.
Orchard Notes for March.
In the orchard notes for January and February I have called attention to the careless manner in which our fruit-growers, as a class, market their produce, and bave endeavoured to show in what respects the present method is capable of being improved. I have emphasised the great importance of paying the utmost attention to careful gathering, honest grading, good attractive packing, and the use of clean, neat cases, if the best results and a ready market are to be obtained. During March, as there is still a large quantity of deciduous fruit to dispose of, this important matter must not be neglected, but the same care and attention that I recommend must be exercised whenever and wherever there is fruit to market. This careful handling applies to every class of fruit, whether green or dried, and it is the only means by which success will be attained, especially now that the production of certain kinds of summer fruits is in excess of the demand, as these fruits are only of value for the green-fruit trade, and are of no value for drying or canning. Of these varieties especially, it is only the best fruit that will bring satisfactory prices, the balance often fetching less than the cost of production and marketing. The present season, however, is an exception to the rule somewhat, as it has been a very unfavourable one for fruit, and anything really good has been fetching high prices. Even inferior fruit has been selling well, but this is owing to the season, and that the supply has been unequal to meet the demand ; but the best fruit and best marketed fruit has always sold most readily, and has paid well for the extra attention given to it.
Unfortunately, the present fruit season has seen a heavy increase in fungus diseases of peaches and citrus fruits. Peach freckle, which was described in the Agricultural Gazette for June, 1894, Vol. V, Part 6, is spreading fast, and has attacked early and mid-season fruit this year where previously it had confined its ravages to late fruit. I do not know of any growers having attempted to treat this disease, but the remedies suggested by Dr. Cobb in the number of the Gazette referred to will prevent its ravages. Citrus fruits, both oranges and lemons, have been badly attacked with black-spot, and this disease is spreading fast-a large proportion of the late fruit being attacked. A description of this disease was given in the Agricultural Gazette for April, 1895, Vol. VI, Part 4, together with remedies which will readily destroy the spores of the fungus causing the disease without injuring the tree. Codling moth, on the other hand, is much less prevalent than it has been for the past three years, and if energetic concerted action were now taken there would be a chance of greatly reducing the damage caused by these insects. Bandaging the trees and the destruction of infested fruit should be carefully attended to, and all timber, stakes or other material that could form hiding places for the larva should be removed from the vicinity of the trees, so that the only shelter remaining are the bandages, which will then catch nearly every larva that leaves the apples. The bandages should be removed and all larvæ contained in them destroyed at least once every ten days, as if left longer, in the warm districts especially, there is a chance of some of the moths hatching out. Drying fruit should be attended to during the month, and many apples and plums that would otherwise be lost may be utilised by drying. Several evaporators or drying machines have recently been described in the Agricultural Gazette, and full particulars given of the methods used for preparing the fruit for drying. Drying fruit is not at all a difficult undertaking, but to ensure success the person drying must use the right kind of fruit and attend carefully to the instructions that have been given. In the later districts the cultivation of the orchard should be carefully attended to, so that the late varieties of apples and pears may be fully developed. It is a mistake to gather late fruits before they are fully matured, as, if gathered too soon, they will shrivel and be deficient in sugar. It is also a mistake, especially in the case of pears, to allow them to remain on the trees too long, as their keeping qualities are greatly impaired by so doing. The right time to gather pears is when they are fully developed and the woody matter has been replaced by sugar, but before the fruit has commenced to soften (ripen), as the best flavour is always obtained by ripening the pear off the tree.
The apple, on the other hand, should be allowed to become ripe on the tree, but not so ripe as to become mealy and flat, as in order to keep its crispness and sprightliness it must be gathered before any softening has taken place. The exact time to gather apples and pears varies with different varieties and with different districts, and no hard and fast rules can be laid down—actual experience in every case being the best guide.
In the coast district cultivation is also necessary to keep down summer grass and other weeds which often make a very rapid growth, especially during the early part of the month. In citrus orchards it is probable that there will be a great increase of scale insects during the month where the trees were not sprayed during February. If the tree growth is vigorous and there is a lot of young tender shoots, then spraying will be unadvisable, but where the growth is only normal, then spraying with kerosene emulsion or a mixture of kerosene emulsion and a starch solution made from flour or potatoes should be used, as it will destroy large numbers of young scales. The starch solution is added to the kerosene emulsion in the place of water, and it renders the emulsion much more efficacious as it forms a film or skin over the leaves, fruit, or branches of the tree, which peels off when dry, taking the scales and the attendant fumagine (smut) with it, thus leaving the tree in a clean and healthy condition. Look out for crickets during the month, and where they are doing damage use the pollard, treacle, and arsenic bait, placing the baits under a piece of wood or bark at the roots of the trees or plants that are being injured by the crickets.
BI-SULPHIDE OF CARBON AND PHYLLOXERA. In a report by Mr. W. Sanderson, one of the inspectors under the Vine Diseases Act, particulars are given of a case of prevention of phylloxera by means of the injection of bi-sulphide of carbon. The vineyard of Mr. P. F. Adams, Casula, Liverpool, is situated about 200 yards from a badly diseased vineyard of 33 acres. As there was every probability of Mr. Adams' vineyard becoming affected, it was, in April last year, treated with four injec. tions of bi-sulphide of carbon at about 12 inches around each stock to a depth of 6 inches, each injection being of about 20 grammes, or two-thirds of an ounce. During the following month (May) all the canes were cut and burnt, together with all leaves, grass, &c., as well as the loose bark hanging on the vine stocks. The earth was then removed from the base of the stocks to a depth of from 6 to 10 inches, after which the roots were cut off and burnt, the holes subsequently being filled with flue-dust (sand would answer the purpose). Finally, about the middle of June following, the vineyard was again treated with bi-sulphide of carbon injected at intervals of 2 feet over the whole area, of one-third of an ounce each injection, at a depth of 8 inches, and the vines were then thoroughly sprayed with a strong solution of resin and soda. The vineyard was subsequentiy inspected on several occasions, and on 16th December last Mr. Sanderson paid a visit, when he was unable to find any trace of phyllosera, nor does he expect any development. In the spring following the treatment two vines died from its effects. Six or eight others appeared to have lost a considerable amount of vitality, but recovered as the spring advanced.
BEESWAX. ACCORDING to reports received from London, beeswax of good quality will be a highly remunerative commodity in that market. A consignment shipped recently, which was characterised as of excellent quality, has been valued by London brokers as being likely to fetch £150 per ton at public auction, and in the spring-time, when business is brisker, higher returns would result. It is suggested that a few shipments should be sent forward of a few tons at a time, each to be sold by public auction. In this way buyers would get to know the brand, and if it were afterwards desired to sell for future delivery from samples it would make it easier to find purchasers. The brokers say that owing to the great liability of beeswax to vary in quality there is not much forward buying done on the London market. The main thing to be observed by sellers in such transactions is to be sure that the samples fairly represent the quality of the bulk.