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the land well drained. and the surface kept somewhat raised and made clean and fine for the seed. The beds should be narrow, so that they can be easily Weeded. It should be kept in mind that weeds have a most damaging effect on young onion plants, and must never be allowed to grow and attain any size. The seed should be sown in drills, which should be about 1 foot apart. Care should be taken not to bury the seed deep-indeed, it should be little more than pressed into the soil. Sow thin, unless small onions are required.
Parsley.-Sow a small quantity of seed, in order to keep up a supply of plants.
Parsnip.—This is a good, wholesome vegetable, although not always liked. Sow a few short rows. The ground should be dug deep, as the roots will extend to a great depth if the soil is free and open.
Peas.—Take the opportunity to sow largely of this general favourite in rows about 3 feet apart. Cover the seed with soil to a not greater depth than 3 inches. The peas should be sown in the drills about 3 inches apart. For manure, use well-rotted droppings from farm animals. Lime, especially sulphate of lime or gypsum, will be found useful. Potash and superphosphate of lime are good manures to use.
Radish.-Keep on sowing a very little seed from time to time, and root out all old tough plants. Use plenty of well-rotted manure.
Spinach.- A little seed may be sown occasionally during the month. Sow in rows about 18 inches apart, and thin out the young plants well when they come up. Use well-rotted manure freely.
Shallots. Plant out a few bulbs, but do not set them deep in the ground. They should stand about a foot or so apart each way. Whatever distance you may think best keep to it, or else everything will have a most unsatisfactory appearance, and be awkward to work. A line should be used on every occasion. Herbs.-Sow a little seed of any kind it may be wished to grow.
Flowers. This is one of the best months of the year in which to plant evergreens of all sorts, before the cold weather sets in. If planted about the middle or towards the end of April, the plants will make root and become to a certain extent established in the soil before winter.
When moving plants from one place to another, or shifting them from pots or boxes in which they have been raised, it is almost certain that a good many roots will be broken or injured in some way. These broken and injured roots should be cut clean off with a sharp knife before planting. Now, it is important that the gardener should know that the area of root surface bears a proportion to the surface area of leaves—that is: the larger and more plentiful the leaves, the longer and more plentiful are the roots and root-hairs, and the leaves are dependent on the roots for their healthy existence. It will perhaps now be clear why it is that very frequently the leaves of newly-planted evergreens droop, and sometimes the plants die right away. The roots have been so diminished and injured in the transplanting that those which remain are unable to collect sufficient moisture to meet the requirements of the leaves. A planter who understands his work will, when transplanting, prune off carefully as much of the leaves and branches as he considers can be kept in health by the uninjured roots. After planting, it would be advisable to water well and also to shade the plants for a time from the sun.
Those who are beginning the work of making flower-gardens could hardly choose a better time than April, although in the case of new land it is always desirable to prepare it some time before planting by trenching and draining. Be sure to trench the whole of the garden, for if parts only are trenched the work will most likely turn out to be worse than if it were left alone, for the rain water will drain into and accumulate in these holes unless the soil has a remarkably good natural drainage. When trenching or digging very deep keep the surface soil as much as possible on the surface.
If it be considered that attention to a flower-garden would occupy too much time—that is, a garden set apart altogether for flowers-some few plants, such as roses, wall-flowers, violets, &c., could be grown near or with the vegetables, along the paths, for they would interfere but little with the vegetables. There are generally some odd corners near the house where & few flowers could be grown, and which could easily be protected from cattle, dogs, &c.
If circumstances do not permit of the growing of flowers in beds by themselves, there is no reason why a few should not be grown near or with the vegetables along the sides of the paths, and so on, for they need interfere very little, if at all, with the vegetables.
Good flower seeds can now be obtained in nearly every town in the Colony at cheap rates, but if there are any particular seeds required that may not be procurable, the seedsmen at the large towns and in Sydney will be able to supply them.
The greatest favourite amongst the flowers is, beyond all doubt, the Rose, and no garden can be complete without a few good kinds. There are numerous classes of Roses, some well defined, others difficult to define, but, as a rule, they can be fairly well distinguished. The classes most generally known are the Hybrid perpetual, the Tea-scented, the Hybrid tea-scented, the Bourbon, the Noisette, the Polyanthas, the Damask, French or Gallica, and the Banksian. Of these the best for general purposes are the tea and Hybrid tea-scented. They flower with wonderful profusion, and they are exceedingly beautiful. In most parts of the Colony they will flower for the greater part of the year. The Hybrid perpetuals flower chiefly in the spring and again to some extent in the autumn. The flowers are brilliant, large, and good, and, as a rule, much darker flowers can be obtained amongst them than amongst the teas. A list of some of the best of the various classes will be given to enable any one to give an order to a nurseryman. They will cost from about 1s. 6d. to 28. each. Of the tea and hybrid-teas some of the best and most useful are-Comtesse de la Barthe, Countess of Pembroke, Climbing Devoniensis (a very strong grower), Etoile de Lyon, Grace Darling, Hon. Edith Gifford, La France, Lord Tarquin, Madame Camille, Madame de Watteville, Madame Hippolyte Jamain (one of the best), Madame Bérard, Marie van Houtte (perhaps the best for general purposes), Climbing Niphetos (a beautiful white), Souvenir d'Elise Vardon, Saffrano (an old but useful variety), The Bride (an exceedingly beautiful one), and The Meteor. Of the Bourbon class the old Souvenir de la Malmaison is one of the best roses in cultivation, and one of the most constant to produce flowers. Mention should have been made of the hybrid tea-climbers, which are very beautiful and useful-Reine Marie Henriette, Souvenir de Madame Mètral, and William Allan Richardson. Some of the best hybrid perpetuals are-Alfred Colomb, Beauty of Waltham, Captain Christy, Charles Lefebvre Duke of Edinburgb, Earl of Dufferin, General Jacqueminot, Her Majesty, John Hopper, Mrs. John Laing, Paul Dupuy, Pierre Notting, Paul Verdier. Of the Noisettes—Lamarque, Céline Forestier, Maréchal Niell, Cloth of Gold, and Reverend T. C. Cole. The above are all good roses, and there are numbers and numbers of others perhaps equally useful and beautiful.
Now the ground should be in good heart for roses, for, although they will adapt themselves to come extent to a variety of conditions and will endure a great deal of ill-treatment and neglect, it is not possible to obtain the most satisfactory flowers unless the plants are well treated. The best manure to use is a mixture of the droppings of farm animals, including the pig. If these be well rotted together and applied to the roses the flowers should be excellent, and the pleasure to be derived from their cultivation will be exceedingly great. The situation for roses should be open, but well sheltered, for they do not like strong bleak winds. The tea-scented varieties can be planted at any time, preferably before the winter sets in, or else towards the spring. The hybrid perpetuals towards the end of winter. When planting make holes large enough to enable you to spread out the roots. Trim all broken and bruised roots with a sharp knife, and then plant carefully, shaking the soil well amongst the roots, and when well filled in, press firmly with the feet. In case the plants are at all shrivelled up when received, unloose the bundle, and bury the whole, roots and branches, in some moist soil for a day or two, and if not too far gone, they will quite recover. If the soil be very dry when planting, give a gallon or two of water to each plant when the hole has been half filled with soil.
The carnation is another most desirable and easy plant to grow, besides being a great favourite with everyone. The best carnations to plant are those known as the Perpetual Flowering or Tree Carnations. These bear flowers very often during the year. The plants will need attention in tying up to stakes, and they must not be allowed to suffer from drought. If plants can be obtained they may be planted out during the month. Carnations can be easily raised from seed which can be obtained from any seedsmen, and very often some good varieties are produced. The best kind to try is the Marguerite which will flower within a few months after the seeds have come up. Bouvardias are most beautiful and useful flowering plants, which may be planted out this month in all but the coldest districts. They will do well in any good soil.
Spring flowering bulbs, including daffodills, should be planted as soon as possible.
Cuttings of roses, fuchsias, verbenas, carnations, and similar kinds of plants should be put in without delay, and they will probably strike root very soon, but they had better not be moved and planted for some time to come. The more sandy the soil the better for the cuttings, which should be protected to some extent from the sun, but they must not be shaded too much.
Seeds of all kinds of hardy annuals may be sown now, and the sooner the better, so that the seedlings can be planted out before the winter sets in. Good seed of annuals and perennials can be obtained so cheap that for a very small sum of money a most beautiful collection of flowers can be obtained. Some care is necessary in sowing the seed, and in the rearing of the seedlings, but a little attention and practice will soon enable anyone to become successful.
Flowers can be so easily grown in this Colony that there is no excuse for anyone to be without a few. The best way to raise plants from seed is to Bow the seed in boxes or pots, or even old kerosene tins or jam tins, but these boxes or tins must bave holes knocked in the bottoms to allow surplus water to drain through. Before putting soil in these boxes, &c., be sure to put in some drainage material, such as broken-up bricks, charcoal, small bones, &c., say an inch or two deep, and then fill up with soil of a light, friable nature. Be extremely careful not to sow any seed deep; very fine seed should be hardly covered at all-merely a little fine soil sprinkled over it, and this should be pressed down lightly. Before sowing seed it would be advisable to water the soil well, and then to let it stand for a short time to settle down. Sow thinly, and do not waste seed. The chances are that a good deal of the seed you sow will not come up.
Sow seeds of the following different kinds of annuals and perennials, and after the seedlings have grown to the height of an inch or so they may be planted in the garden carefully:-Snapdragons of varieties, columbines, everlastings, dwarf asters, daisies, coreopsis, campanulas, candytuftof varieties, Canterbury bells, cornflowers, cowslip, larkspur, eschscholtzia, everlasting peas, forget-me-not, gaillardia, godetia, holyhock, lavender, lapines, mari. gold, stocks, mignonette, dwarf nasturtium, love-in-a-mist, pansy of varieties, sweet peas, penstemon, phlox Drummondii, polyanthus, scabious, sweet William, and wallflower. These are some of the easiest, and some of the prettiest, plants to grow.
Orchard Notes for April.
The month of April is somewhat of a slack time in Cumberland orchards, as the bulk of the summer fruits have been marketed and the citrus fruits are barely ready. Advantage should, therefore, be taken of any slack time to effect any permanent improvements in the orchard, such as draining, fencing, carting soil, &c. See that all surface drains are cleaned out, and that the outlets of all underground drains are kept open, as if once allowed to become blocked up at their outlets the drains rapidly silt up and become worse than valueless. Remove any dead trees and others that it is desirable
the soil in as rough a state as possible, so as to become sweetened before another tree is planted. To do this it is best to leave the hole open and only fill it in when the fresh tree is to be planted. When planting the new tree, always get a cartload of new soil, if possible, as that will ensure its getting a good start. Because there is not a great deal of fruit to market, do not neglect to market it properly. The same care and attention that I have always recommended in these Orchard Notes is as essential when marketing & small quantity as a large. Be sure that there is no better way of meeting with a ready sale for your fruit and of obtaining good prices than careful handling and honest and neat packing. In the later districts the main crop of apples and pears should be gathered and stored. Don't rush them on to the markets as soon as gathered when they have to compete with the coastgrown fruit, but keep them till the coast article is done when they will have less competition and bring better prices. In the country apple districts it will also pay to store for the purely local market, as even in our best late districts, which are capable of producing as good keeping fruit as any part of Australia, it is a rare thing to find any locally-grown fruit a couple of months after the fruit has been gathered, the local stores being supplied with Tasmanian fruit. This certainly is far from right, and the sooner our growers remedy it the better, as it surely never pays to send their own fruit to the Sydney market, and then get iinported in the place of the locallygrown article. This is paying freight both ways, and introducing several unnecessary profits between the grower and the consumer. When will our fruit-growers realise that the only way to make their business pay is to minimise the cost of getting their fruits from the orchard to the consumer? They are always complaining that the middlemen get all the profits, and, at the same time, instead of combining to fight the middlemen, they seem rather to encourage them.
The storing of pears and apples is by no means a difficult or expensive process. All that is needed is a building capable of being maintained at a fairly even temperature. Such a fruit store can be easily and clicaply made nearly anywhere. The only requisites are that the walls shall be thick enough to prevent sudden changes of the atmosphere from affecting the