« السابقةمتابعة »
by a layer of long fresh stable manure about four inches thick. On this several other layers must be placed of the prepared dung, each being beaten flat with the fork, so as to make the bed as close and compact as possible, till it is about five feet high, when the top should be finished off like the ridge of a house. In this state the bed should remain about a fortnight, and then some bricks of mushroom spawn having been procured from a nurseryman, they should be broken into pieces about an inch or an inch and a half square, and strewed regularly over the bed, each piece of the spawn being buried by raising up a little of the dung and inserting it. After this, the surface of the bed must be beaten flat with the spade, and the whole covered with a loamy soil, and beaten quite smooth. The bed is then covered about a foot thick with oat straw, and again with mats, and it will require no further care for a month or six weeks, by which time the mushrooms will be ready for the table. Care should be taken in gathering them to twist them up by the roots, as, if they are cut off, the root, which is left in the ground, will decay, and be injurious to the young plants. Mushrooms may be made to grow in lawns, by procuring some bricks of mushroom spawn, and, after breaking them into pieces about an inch or two inches square, burying these pieces by raising a little of the turf wherever the mushrooms are wished to grow, and placing the spawn under it. This is sometimes done in April or May ; but if the season should be dry, the spawn will not germinate. Others put the spawn into the ground in August, or in the first week in September; the lawn is afterwards rolled, and no other care will be requisite until the mushrooms are ready for gathering, which will be in a month or six weeks after the spawn is buried.
MANAGEMENT OF FRUIT TREES. PLANTING. - PRO
TECTING THE BLOSSOMS. STONE FRUITS. -FIG TREES. - GRAPES. MANAGEMENT OF A VINERY. GROWING
The fruit trees in a kitchen-garden should be all trained against the walls, and those trees which are grown as standards should be in a separate garden or orchard. The walls are best when about eight feet high, and they should have strong hooks or holdfasts built into them at the top, for the convenience of supporting a wooden coping, or of suspending mats or nets. Some persons recommend the walls to be built on arches; but this is a bad plan, as it is of importance to the gardener to confine the roots as much as possible to the border within the garden. The roots of fruit trees should never go deeply into the ground, as, if the roots are suffered to get so deep as to be out of the reach of the air, the trees will produce more leaves and branches than fruit. On this account care should be taken that the soil should not be more than eighteen inches deep; and the easiest and most effectual mode of doing this is, to dig out the border to the depth of two feet, and put a layer of brick-bats and other rubbish covered with gravel well rammed down to the depth of six inches, and to fill up the remaining eighteen inches with a fine rich mould. When a fruit tree border is in its proper state, the gardener should always be able to show the fibrous roots of his trees by removing a little of the earth with his hand. When the trees are planted the roots should be carefully spread out to their full extent, and care should be taken always to keep the collar of the plant above the earth, as when it is buried the tree is very liable to become cankered. As the blossoms of peaches, apricots, and nectarines appear early, they are very liable to be injured by spring frosts, and many plans have been devised for protecting them. All, however, are liable, more or less, to objection, as it is extremely difficult to put up mats without knocking off the blossoms. The best way is to have a deep wooden coping placed on the holdfasts that were let into the wall, with hooks in front, from which a curtain of bunting may be suspended, which should be kept up night and day during frosty weather; as there is quite as much danger from the sun during frosty weather, as from the frost. In fact, in most cases where plants are injured by frost, it is in consequence of a warm sunny day having succeeded a severely cold night.
Peaches and nectarines are the most valuable of our wall fruit trees. They should be grown in tolerably rich soil, but which has been enriched with decayed leaves rather than animal manure; as, when they are manured with dung, they are very apt to produce what are called water shoots or gourmands, that is, strong vigorous shoots without
blossom buds. Peach trees are generally kept in the nursery till they are three or four years old, and they should be removed about the latter end of October, or the beginning of November. They are best trained in the fan manner, that is, with the branches spread out regularly against the wall in the shape of a fan; and, as they always bear their fruit on shoots of a year old, those shoots must be left on in pruning, and the old wood cut out. The pruning should be performed either in November or February; but the trees should never be cut during a severe frost. When the fruit has stoned it is thinned out, and never more than two should be left growing together.
Peaches and nectarines are generally grafted close to the ground, so as to make dwarf trees, and they are considered best planted about twenty feet apart, with some kind of plum or cherry, grafted standard high, placed between them. .