« 上一頁繼續 »
penetrate to the crown, and then you will have healthy and wholesome sea-kale. But it is plain enough that, if it is otherwise, it is our own fault, the same as it is with the seed potato.
Celery is one of the most wholesome and useful of all vegetables, but subject to mismanagement to a great degree. In the first place, it is generally sown too early. The main crops should never by any means be sown sooner than the first or second week in April
, and then on a very slight hotbed, covering a part of the bed with a light or hand-glasses, by which means you get plants of two different ages; taking care to sprinkle your beds and plants, when up, with water a little warmed. Keep the earth stirred often with a pointed stick to keep it open. As soon as the plants have two leaves besides the seed leaves, prick a quantity very carefully on another slight hotbed. If you want to grow celery extra large, then prick it again in about 16 or 18 days; then the third time, leaving the same interval between. Keeping them watered with good water, and hoeing them often, will be the means of having strong well-rooted plants: but they must not be allowed to stand, after the third time transplanting, more than 10 days or a fortnight, or the fibres will have spread such a distance that they will be subject to get broken off when taken up; which should be done with great care, with a trowel, with all the earth which will adhere to the plants. I must here make one important remark, which is, in planting in any stage of its growth never plant deep; always leave the collar and seed leaves above ground, and, as you must have plenty of room to plant it as high as you please, do not thrust your celery plants down into the cold gravelly or sandy subsoil beneath, for if you do it will never be good. You cannot possibly have good celery if you sow it too early, and then allow your plants to stand in the seed bed until it is drawn up weakly and spindly. I have seen some transplant it, and allow the plants to get again drawn up weak and nakedrooted, and then set to work in good earnest, because they saw a neighbour do so the day before, in planting his celery. So they dig out a trench 1 ft. wide, and about the same in depth; put in some dung; turn up the subsoil amongst it, or on the top of it, that possibly had never been moved before; and then thrust into this trench their long weakly plants a good depth, as it is called, to keep them up; they next earth them up early to smother them more, and expect to have good celery from this management, and when they find it fail, put it upon the soil or the season. My system is simply this. I always trench every bit of spare ground, and throw it in ridges as soon as any crop is off. Now many people will say: “We have not got time to do that; we have not strength enough; besides we are forced to keep the ground cropped to that degree that there is no chance of trenching :" but I contrive to find time in some way to trench all spare ground; by which means I always have a bit ready for successional crops, which is planned in my mind from time to time. I take my line and spade to one of those pieces of ground, measure it out, at least 6 ft. from row to row, stretching the line from end to end across the ridges, and merely shovel out a shape of a celery trench 2 ft. wide; if the ground has not previously been well manured, I of course shovel out the trench something deeper, to admit of manure, which should be good, strong, tolerably rotten dung of any kind. I then take the plants up carefully with a trowel, with good balls of earth; and plant them, if required extra large, from 12 in. to 15 in. from plant to plant, if of the usual size from 10 in. to 12 in. ; taking care never to plant deep into the subsoil, or to put the plant below the collar, for I would sooner see half of the roots exposed, than the eighth part of an inch of the heart buried. In earthing up, never by any means begin too early, for by that plan much of the celery gets considerably injured: and, instead of muddling it about with earth ten or twelve times, once or twice, or at most three times, earthing is quite sufficient to bring it to proper perfection. Every body knows that celery is fond of plenty of water, likewise of manure liquid: but in hot weather never water it over-head with a rose on your watering-pot; but pour abundance about the roots out of the spout, with a brushy stick put into the spout of the watering-pot, so as to cause the water to come out more gently, and not wash out the roots; using a watering-pot at the same time in each hand, it keeps a man better on the balance.
To combat that destructive insect and rust which have attacked and destroyed so much celery of late years, I find there is nothing equal to soot dusted all over the plants when the leaves are moist, so that it will adhere. For instance, I had the whole of the celery attacked in these gardens last September, so that to all appearance it would be scorched up in a few days. It did not happen to be showery weather at the time, so I took the garden engine and gave it all a good washing, having a man to follow me dusting the soot all over it. Having thirteen rows in the garden, I dressed twelve of them twice, which perfectly cleansed them; the thirteenth is now remaining there scorched up from end to end as if it had been fired, without one head fit for use.
I mean to allow this bed to stand for a time, that any gardener who may happen to call to see me may be convinced of the correctness of
remarks. I have worked amongst many acres of celery: 13 acres are the most that I have cultivated in one garden during one season; but I have seen three crops taken off the same piece of ground
in that time; and a great deal of it twice cropped with celery in the same season, which is of rare occurrence except in a London market-garden. Of course the plants must be well prepared and strong; and done justice to in planting with a good preparation: but a London market-garden is the place to see all things well prepared for.
Cauliflowers, as I have before told you, I make a point never to sow sooner than from the 18th to the 25th of September; sowing the seed in boxes, frames, or pans, close to the glass. The last of my late cauliflowers I sow about the 15th October, in
pans in a little bottom heat, and always make it a rule to prick at this season of the year in thumb pots first, having at this time plenty of spare pots that flower-garden plants have been turned out of. I keep them shifted on in some old melon mould until February, when the plants are become very strong; making it a rule to trench, ridge, and manure my firstcleared celery ground, for the purpose of placing hand-glasses for the first crop. When prepared, if the ground should be wet and cold, I take care to throw out a sort of trench the width of the hand-glasses; mark out a place for cach glass; throw out a little of the earth where cach glass is to stand, and put in a small quantity of dry dusty mould, old dry mushroom bed, or such like; which I always take care to have ready prepared in the corner of some shed, or covered up with straw mats, which are made by the men in rough weather. I always find in winter plenty of dry dusty rubbish handy and useful for saving many things from cankering, as well as for saving cauliflowers from getting black legs; which every grower is acquainted with, and by which disease many crops are lost. When the handglasses are prepared as above, I turn out about four of these large plants under each glass, keeping them well aired at all suitable times. They grow remarkably free, let the weather be what it may. If the weather proves dry in March, I get manure water prepared, put into it a quarter of a pound of nitrate of soda to one hogshead of tolerably strong cow-dung water; taking care to add to it a few gallons of hot water to make it a Little warm, which well repays the trouble, for they will grow through the cold March winds like as in May, and fine cauliflowers I always get early in April. This season I find I did not have any account kept of cutting them until April 15th; but, by growing and shifting some along until I get them into No.8. pots, and placing them for a few weeks in a vinery that is just put to work, or a peach house, I have had cauliflowers early in March. They are found very useful at that season of the year in every family; as they come before the spring vegetation begins to do much, and the winter stock is getting exhausted. I continue to sow just a pinch of cauli
flower seed about every 20 days through the season, from the first week in January until the 15th of October; and I have never been without cauliflowers one day since the 15th of April last. I have at this very time cauliflowers as close, fine, and white as they were in May last, with every appearance of having them as good until January next; having 200 fine plants of different ages potted in the large pots in which I grew my balsams, cockscombs, globe amaranthus, &c., and placed in the melon pits, &c., and other sheltered corners. would be doing nothing at this time of the year, if I did not use them for this purpose. It is only to get up an hour earlier in the morning to get these extra jobs done, which is good for the health and I think nothing of the trouble; it is a pleasure, and where there is a will there is a way. So, if you have no melon pits nor frames, it is always easy to throw out a 4 ft. trench right and left, and form a home-made pit; getting some of your kidneybean sticks to put over it; and covering with mats, straw mats, heath, or fern.
Bicton Gardens, Nov. 21. 1842.
In the course of my practice, I have seen in some seasons great destruction caused by the gooseberry caterpillar. When a boy, I would sooner do any job than pick caterpillars, on account of their strong disagreeable smell, and the tediousness of the job. In the year 1817, in the garden where I was then employed, the gooseberry bushes were attacked by such multitudes of caterpillars, that some were very soon stripped entirely of their leaves. All hands were put to picking them off, and other remedies were tried. At the time, I saw a heap of soot in a back yard, which the sweeps had that morning cleaned out of the house chimneys, and, knowing of a quantity of fresh wood ashes under a large copper furnace used for brewing, I took a quantity of each and mixed them together, and gave the bushes a good dredging with it when damp, and in two or three applications had the pleasure of seeing the whole of the caterpillars expelled.
The gooseberry bushes, and all the fruit trees in that garden, were covered with lichens and moss. The following autumn, it was observed, every tree that had been dressed for the caterpillar was quite clear of the moss and lichens; the remedy was therefore in damp weather in winter applied to all the fruit trees about the garden, which were completely cleansed by it. A quantity of both soot and wood ashes was collected and laid
in separate heaps in a back shed on the floor, to be in readiness in case of another attack of the caterpillar the following spring.
The gooseberry bushes were attacked again the following spring, and the above remedy applied with but very indifferent success; and as they were not very numerous, and were soon picked off, no farther notice was taken of them.
I never forgot the successful application of the soot and wood ashes, and, as seasons have passed on, I have continued using it; sometimes with tolerable success, at others without any. I have often noticed the great improvement it made in the luxuriance and growth of the trees afterwards, if it happened to be showery weather. In 1841, the gooseberry bushes in Bicton gardens were attacked by multitudes of the caterpillar; and making it a rule at all times to keep soot and wood ashes by me, and having a quantity at the time in a shed, I tried it without success, and was obliged to put all hands day after day handpicking them. They got so numerous that they attacked currants as well. In 1842 they came more numerous than ever; every thing was tried that could be thought of; all other work getting behind by attending to them. A host of boys
was employed to pick by task, and some men and a woman. One batch was no sooner cleared than another was attacked : with all the exertion we could make, a great quantity of trees were com: pletely stripped of their leaves, exposing the fruit to be shriveled by the sun.
Last autumn I was much perplexed every time I passed the trees in so deplorable a condition. It struck me all at once, one evening, that the properties of the soot and ashes were lost to some extent by lying on the floor, or possibly by getting a little damp in some way. I so well recollected, as if had happened only the day previous, that in the year 1817 I had seen it destroy and expel the whole. I recollected too that the soot was fresh cleaned out of chimneys where coal was burnt, that the wood ashes were fresh and dry from under the furnace where different kinds of wood were burnt, such as oak, elm, Scotch fir, larch, some birch, and Spanish chestnut ; for I saw the brewing-men sawing and taking it from a large stack under a row of large high yew trees. This last winter, in collecting soot and wood ashes, I had it put into old dry boxes and cement casks, keeping the bottoms clear from the floor by bricks or logs of wood, and covering it down so that no dampness could get to it; and on the bushes being attacked this spring again by thousands of the black army, as my men call them, as they do also the turnip caterpillar, we set to dredging the bushes early of a morning when they were damp, or after a shower, and by perseverance we soon completely cleared them of the whole in their infant state, without their doing any mischief whatever. At the same