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which they are raised should be shaded from the hot sun, but not shaded too much, or else the plants will grow "leggy" in their efforts to obtain sufficient light for their proper development. This will be the case also if you sow seeds too close together. As a rule, persons who have not learned gardening properly sow their seeds too thick both in their seed-beds and in the garden, consequently the plants do not grow to the perfection they should.
With respect to plants such as cabbages, which are to be transplanted after they have grown to a certain size, it makes considerable difference in their after-growth whether they were properly managed from the start or not.
Some coarse cheese-cloth, painters' hessian, or open material makes a capital shade under which to raise seeds. As to how long they may remain under this you must use your own judgment in determining
The cabbages generally suffer terribly during the summer from the attacks of both aphis and caterpillars. Suggested remedies and preventives are numerous—tobacco water, pyrethrum and lime dusted dry amongst the leaves, hot water alone, hot water and pyrethrum powder, kerosene emulsion, and Paris green. The latter will probably be found the most effective remedy for the caterpillar. Make a solution of the strength of 1 lb. of Paris green to 200 gallons of water, and add a handful or two of lime. Mix up well and spray it over the plants in as fine a spray as possible. It is extremely difficult to wet a cabbage, but the addition of lime to the water and Paris green assists to make the solution keep on the plants. The finer the spray the more chance of its adhering.
Beans, French or Kidney.--As soon as old plants have ceased to produce beans they should be cleared away and the ground can then be used for some other kind of vegetable after it has been well dug up and manured. The beans should be picked before they are nearly full grown, and then plants will continue to bear several crops. If any beans are allowed to ripen, the plants will cease to bear and will gradually die away. Seed should be sown to keep up a supply of this vegetable. If the soil is dry the bean seeds should be soaked with water after they have been sown in the rows and before the soil is covered over them. It would be advisable to spread a mulch or covering of horse or cow dung over the rows when the seeds have been sown and covered with soil. When the seedlings appear well above the ground sow a few more rows and so on. The French bean is one of the best and most reliable of vegetables for the summer, and should, therefore, be sown largely as suggested, so that a constant supply may be kept going. The tallgrowing varieties may be sown, if preferred, but then more labour will be required in consequence of sticks or supports being necessary for the plants to climb over. But at the same time it is possible to keep the plants somewhat dwarf by cutting them back.
Brocoli.—This plant is almost the same as the cauliflower, and is well worth growing. A small quantity of seed may be sown, either in boxes or a seed-bed, which should be shaded and watered. When the plants are strong and hardy they should be planted out, about 3 or 4 inches apart, in a small, well-prepared bed, in order that they may develop well for further planting out in their permanent places.
Borecole or Kale.-Sow a little seed, and shade and water as suggested for brocoli.
Cabbage.-Sow a small quantity of seed and treat as above. Strong young seedlings may be planted out to some well-prepared ground. The richer the soil the wider apart they may be planted-say from 2 feet 6 inches to 3 feet. It may be advisable to give cabbages frequent applications of liquid manure during this time of year, for they should be kept growing vigorously, and they are better able then, amongst other advantages, to withstand the attacks of aphis and caterpillars, which often destroy whole crops during the summer.
Cauliflower.—Sow a small quantity of seed and treat them as recominended for brocoli.
Cucumber.—Seed may be sown if more plants are required. The fruit should now be available in quantity. Plants coming on slowly will be improved considerably if supplied with occasional applications of liquid manure, made from horse, cow, or fowl dung, or all three mixed together. It should not be allowed to flow over the leaves when applied.
Celery.-A little seed may be sown during the month so as to have s supply available if required. There is no need to waste seed, for not many plants will be required. Celery is not only a wholesome, useful vegetable for salads, but is excellent when boiled. A few plants should be put out occasionally from the seed-bed to ground that has been heavily manured. A few well-grown plants may be earthed up to blanch their stems as required. The application of liquid manure, occasionally, will be of advantage.
Cress and Mustard.-Sow a little seed occasionally to keep up a supply. Make the ground rich with well-rotted manure.
Egg Plant.- A little seed may be sown, if plants are required.
Maize, Sugar or Sweet.—This is but seldom used in the Colony as a vegetable, but it is well deserving of a trial. The ordinary kinds of maize are not nearly so good for table use as the Sweet varieties. The growing of maize is so well known in the localities for which it is suitable that there is no need to enter into detail here.
Onion.-Sow a small quantity of seed in drills. Attend carefully to growing plants, and keep them quite free from weeds.
Parsley.-If there are no plants in the garden sow a little seed, for no garden should be without a few plants.
Peas.- In the cool parts of the Colony sow a few peas, and keep the ground between the rows well cultivated in order to retain moisture and destroy weeds.
Pumpkin.-Seed may be sown if more plants are needed, or if the supply from plants already raised does not seem likely to be sufficient for requirements.
Radish.-A little seed may be sown occasionally to keep up a supply.
Spinach.-Sow a little seed of this useful vegetable, which is not grown so frequently as it should be.
Tomato.--There should be an abundance of the fruit of this vegetable in all kitchen gardens at this season of the year. A great deal is generally wasted and allowed to rot, when it could be preserved and made into sauces and so on. Seed may be sown if any more plants are required.
Turnips.-Sow a small quantity of seed in drills, and thin out the plants well when they come up.
Flowers. The chief autumn flowering plants are the chrysanthemum and dahlias. Some attention should be given to them now if it be desired to raise good flowers. The chrysanthemum is everybody's flower, for it will grow $0 easily-almost anywhere; but to produce the magnificent blooms that may be seen at exhibitions requires a good deal of skill, but this skill can be acquired by anyone who will take the trouble to learn, and put his heart into the work.
To begin, the chrysanthemum should be limited to one stem. If left to grow in its natural state it will produce a clump of many stems, as may be seen in gardens generally, where the plants are allowed to grow at will. As its natural habit is to throw up a number of stems, you will find that nearly all varieties will make great efforts to grow up naturally and send up numerous suckers around the stem you have made up your mind to grow. As soon as these suckers appear, break them off below the ground with finger and thumb. This work will have to be kept going all the time the plant is growing until it flowers, when you may let the suckers grow. The more the suckers are kept down the stronger the plant will grow; but to make a nice shapely plant requires attention in pinching and tying out. When the plant has attained a height of about 6 inches its top may be pinched off. This will cause it to throw out two or three side branches, and when these have grown a few inches in length the tops of each may be pinched, and so on. You can make it almost as bushy as you please by this means. During this process of training, suckering, &c., you must feed the plant with liquid manure frequently. Some growers use liquid manure made with an ounce or two of sulphate of ammonia to the gallon of water. Others use blood manure; others that made from the droppings of animals, to which is added a little soot water, and the latter is probably the best. To make soot water, tie up some soot in a bag, and let this soak in a tub of water until the water, becomes about the colour of tea. To mix soot with water is difficult; you will find the bag business the easiest.
Caterpillars are very destructive to chrysanthemums. These should be looked for daily. The best remedy for their destruction is the finger and thumb—two most effective operators.
Chrysanthemums require a deal of water, which should be given to their roots often, and their leaves would be much improved by frequent sprayings in the evenings or early mornings. If you desire very large flowers you will have to remove most of the flower-buds as soon as they appear. A knowledge of the best kinds of buds to retain can only be learned by much practice or personal instruction.
Dahlias will require some liquid manure now and then, and frequent supplies of water should the weather be very dry. Secure the plants to stakes as they grow. Two or three stakes to each plant should be provided.
Carnations and other perennial plants should be watered occasionally, and a supply of liquid manure will be beneficial.
Sunflowers, gaillardias, coreopsis, snapdragons, lobelias, tea-scented varieties of roses, and many other plants should now be producing quantities of pretty flowers, should the weather be at all favourable. Keep the garden clean and free from weeds, and remove all dead leaves of bulbs and other plants. Save seed of poppies, pansies, Phlox Drummondii, if you wish to keep up a supply next year. The plants of Phlox Drummondii will continue to bloom for a long time if the seed vessels are removed before they ripen.
Orchard Notes for December.
W. S. CAMPBELL.
This is a busy time for many orchardists in some parts of the Colony with the picking and marketing of their summer fruits. Very frequently, in order to get in fruit to an early market, it is gathered green and hard and quite unfit for food, unless it be cooked. Can it be wondered then that bowel sickness is common at this season of the year. Green “ cherry " or “ American plums" have the credit for causing a good deal of this siekness. Hard indigestible fruit of any kind is most dangerous to eat.
Some of the most delicate and delicious of the peaches are difficult to market in a ripe condition, by reason of their very quality of melting rich. ness. Indeed it is but seldom that really first-class peaches can be obtained at any price.
If the growers would only follow the system of packing and marketing ripe fruit in separate wooden baskets in trays, and grade and then pack this fruit so that all the big samples could not shake to the top as they generally seem to do, it would be a boon to the consumers. There is always a good market for first-class fruit in proper condition for eating, and it seems surprising that more of the best quality is not produced. Let anyone try to buy a really first-class peach, even during the glut of fruit, and he will be rather astonished at the price asked. A good many strawberries are being sold in Sydney at the present time in neat little wooden baskets : an excellent method, but unfortunately the fruit is not graded, all the large ones are on top, and very small ones below. Purchasers become very much disappointed when the strawberries are turned out on a dish. However, it is well to see a beginning made towards neatness and cleanliness, for this is an indication of better things to come.
The flat, as well as the small round China peaches, are now quite ripe. They are useful for their earliness. The former carries well, but the latter is very soft, and does not stand close packing, although in small baskets it should carry well. Its peculiar slight bitter flavour is much liked by some persons. This peach, as a rule, comes true from seed. This I know from personal experience, as I have grown numbers of plants year after year.
Probably as fine cherries can be grown in this Colony as in any other place in the world ; indeed, it is pretty safe to say this of almost any kinds of fruit. Cherries of splendid appearance and quality are grown in the cool climates of the table-land about Orange, Young, Molong, Cooma, and in New England. There seems to be an idea prevalent that the best of cherries can only be grown in Victoria and Tasmania. There could not be a greater mistake. I feel inclined to think that a considerable quantity of our own fruit is passed off in the shops as Tasmanian or Victorian. There is not the slightest need for us to import a single pound weight of any sort of fruit from any other country if growers were only forthcoming.
The peach known as Briggs' Early May and its relations, which are so much alike that it would require an extraordinary eye to detect the difference, should be ripe and eatable. Brigg's Early May has an objectionable habit of frequently ripening on one side, whilst the other side remains as hard as a brick. Governor Garland, which fruited in the nursery at Wagga Wagga last year, is said to ripen much earlier than Briggs' Early May. It is a good-flavoured peach, and seems to ripen evenly.
Attention should be given to bandages which are tied round fruit-trees as traps for the larvæ of codlin moths. This tying of bandages of sacking, straw, or other material is a most necessary precaution, which should be taken by everyone who has an orchard. And another important matter to attend to is the gathering, and destroying by boiling, of all fallen apples or pears. By spraying, when the fruit sets, with Paris green, and by bandaging and destroying all fallen fruit, the codlin moth can be kept so much in check as to cause but little damage. Such has been proved by those who have carried out the proper methods of destruction.
Many orange-growers have suffered lately-indeed, they are always suffering, more or less—from the objectionable sooty fungus which covers, not only the leaves of the orange trees, but the fruit as well. References are made to me personally time after time, and it is difficult to make many, who bring their sooty-looking oranges, understand that the chief cause of this nuisance is the orange scale or scales.
Some ten years ago Mr. D. M. Maskell, F.R.M.S., of New Zealand, in his work, “ Insects Noxious to Agriculture and Plants," directed attention to the "smut,” or “black blight,” and to the fact that the primary cause was due to scale insects, and advised their destruction to get rid of it. He recommended the use of kerosene emulsion in the form of a spray.
Some most interesting investigations have lately been carried on by officers attached to the United States Department of Agriculture to determine the causes of diseases in citrus fruits in Florida, and this sooty fungus disease is referred to in their report, some extracts from which will doubtless be of value.
"Sooty mould of the orange, or smut as it is sometimes erroneously called, is a malady which frequently causes serious damage. The fungus producing it is of saprophytic habit, deriving its nourishment from the sweet fluids (honeydew) secreted by certain insects, the attacks of which it invariably follows. As the honeydew falls it strikes principally on the upper surfaces of the leaves and exposed branches and upper portions of the fruit (the stem end, as the fruits are pendulous) and it is on these portions that the sooty mould grows. It develops also to some extent on the lower surfaces of the leaves, but is not so abundant here. In Florida sooty mould follows principally the attack of the mealy wing or white fly (Aleyrodes vitri, R. & H.), wax scale (Ceroplastes floridensis), mealy bug (Dactylopius citri), orange plant louse or aphis (Aphis gossypii, Glover), &c., and spreads as these pests spread. It is only when it follows the mealy wing, however, that it becomes serious." . .
“This disease injures the plant by interrupting the process of assimilation. This is brought about by the cutting off of light and by hindering the passage of necessary gasses in and out of the plant. The acconipanging insects further injure the plant by sucking the nutritious juices from the cells of the leaf. The growth of the tree is usually greatly retarded, and in serious cases is frequently entirely checked until some relief is found.”