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and the leaves break off exactly at the point or summit of the bulb, which it is very necessary to preserve.
When the leaves are removed, the bulbs are immediately taken out; and this must not be delayed even to the following day, because, when the leaves are taken away, and wet weather follows, the moisture penetrates into the bulb and makes it sickly. If they have been planted in rows, and in good order, they are easily found again. You must kneel down and take out the first row, and so on till you come to the end of the bed, laying them all in the footpath. When the bed is empty, it must be raked smooth all over, and a strip in the middle, about a foot and a half broad, made fat and firm by means of a board being pressed upon it, or the back of a spade. On this smooth part of the bed the bulbs must be placed in rows, keeping each sort separate; but care must be taken at all times to lay those that are diseased by themselves, so that they may not infect the others; and, lest any of those that are diseased may have been overlooked when they are laid to dry, they should be so placed that one bulb may not touch the others. It often happens, when the leaves are pulled off, as above described, that they do not come entirely from the point of the bulb, in which case they must be cut, as they would rot off afterwards, and run the risk of destroying a whole bed of bulbs in the course of a few days by the rotz. When they are laid on the strip of ground to dry, the root ends of the bulbs must be turned towards the south, as by this means the rays of the sun will have a greater effect upon them.
When the bulbs are placed on the strip of ground along the middle of the bed, the earth from both sides is thrown over them two or three inches thick. The Dutch expression for this is, lying in the Käuil (cool). The length of time they lie in the Käuil depends upon circumstances. If the bulbs are large and well grown, they should only lie about a fortnight, because if they are kept longer in it, they are in danger of having the rotz; but, if they are of a moderate size, they should remain in it three or four weeks. A good deal also depends upon the weather ; because during damp weather, or when it varies from moist to warm weather, they must all be taken out sooner, so as not to run the danger of a very serious loss.
There are two artificial methods of propagating bulbs in • Holland : one is by means of crosscuts (Kreuzschnitte), the other by hollowing out the bulb (Höhlung). Those bulbs that are to be propagated by means of crosscuts must undergo the operation before they are laid in the Käuil.
The strongest and most healthy bulbs must be chosen for either of these operations, as that is the only chance of obtaining young bealthy bulbs. Therefore, when you select bulbs for
propagating, and are convinced that they are perfectly healthy, without cutting any part off, make four crosscuts in the root end half-way up the bulb, after which the bulbs should be laid in the Käuil, and taken out again like the others.
These cuts open pretty wide the same autumn, and send out young bulbs at the cut scales. They must then be planted in this state by themselves; and the next year, after having been dried on the boards, they are separated and trimmed. While they are increasing in size, very little foliage, or none at all, appears on the surface of the bed, as the old bulb has no longer any influence, and the young ones only exert their strength towards their own increase.
The manner of propagating by hollowing out the bulb shall be treated of presently.
July. — According to the above-mentioned treatment, the removal of the bulbs from the Käuil takes place either in the beginning or the middle of this month. You must take care that the weather is fine, so as not to run the risk of a serious loss, and also that the rays of the sun do not fall for too great a length of time on the bulbs, because it might easily happen that great injury might be done, particularly between eleven and three o'clock, and it is therefore better that this work should be performed every morning between five and eleven. The removal of bulbs from the Käuil is easily understood. The two or three inches of earth that were thrown over the bulbs are raked off, when the bulbs are easily taken out; they are then laid separately, so that the air and the sun may dry them in the course of two or three hours. They are afterwards put into a parchment sieve, and carefully shaken, which frees them of all the dry roots and scales. If the sieve is not of parchment, it may be of any soft material, and the sides should be stuffed, to prevent the bulbs from sustaining any injury. They are then brought into the bulb-house and laid on the drying-boards, where they may lie close to each other, but not on each other. Whenever the bulbs are handled, great care must be taken that all those that are diseased or dead, and particularly those that have the rotz, are removed from the others.
The beds which are now empty may be planted with vegetables.
August. - Time of packing. Those bulbs that are intended for sale must be selected and examined as above mentioned, to see that none are sickly among them. If this month be not moist, propagating by means of hollowing out the bulb may be performed; but, if the contrary, it must stand over, and, when this is the case, it is better to wait till the following August. It is very desirable, as has been already mentioned, that healthy and strong bulbs should be chosen for propagating, as it not only insures healthy young ones, but a greater number of them. The manner of hollowing out the bulb is as follows:Place
your thumb on the root end of the bulb, and cut round it with a sharp knife, hollowing out the plate or root end as far as the middle of the bulb, and when the knife has passed in a circular direction round the bulb, be particularly careful to take it out again where the incision began, or rather so to perform this circular cut, that the plate extending half-way into the bulb may fall out of itself. As this operation causes a great deal of moisture to flow from the bulb, and also a great degree of danger of its rotting away, it is therefore very advisable that it should not be undertaken during moist weather. The hollowed out part of the bulb ought not to be touched either with the finger or any thing else, and the best way is to strew a dry board with fine dry sand, to lay the bulbs upon it, and to turn the hollowed out part to the sun.
The sun dries them, and also the heart, which extends as far as the point (Nase) of the bulb, and which was not removed when the bulb was hollowed out, but now becomes detached by the heat of the sun, and can be taken away with a chip of wood. When the hollowed part is properly dried, some shelves, or a stand, should be prepared in a very dry place, and strewed with very fine and dry sand i in. thick, on which should be laid the hollowed out bulbs till they are planted. If the weather is dry, they ought to have air ; but, if it is moist, the air should be excluded.
In some places the hollowed out plates are used, because these also produce young ones; but they are in general not much valued, and are often thrown away, as the young bulbs are never vigorous.
When the hollowed out bulbs are set in the sun, care must be taken that they are not burnt when the sun is too hot, in which case they should be put in a green-house behind the sashes.
They must be looked at at least twice a day, because they very soon begin to rot; and, if this is neglected for one or two days, a very serious injury may be sustained.
If any of them should have begun to rot, the part should be cut off if possible, and the bulb replaced in the sun and air; but still an injury is sustained, as the number of young bulbs will be diminished. A great many young ones, as small as grains of corn, are found on the scales before planting, which should be planted rather sooner than any of the others.
When this kind of propagating proves successful, a great many young ones are obtained, but it generally takes four or even five years to bring them to perfection ; whereas those that are obtained by the crosscuts only take three years, but not
nearly so many young ones are obtained. Those which are raised from hollowing out, as well as those from the crosscuts, do not produce any leaves on the surface of the bed the first year. Both should be planted separately, in a suitable part of the garden, and in the kind of earth used for hyacinths.
September: - Packing should go on during this month; and it must be particularly remembered that all those beds on which hyacinths or other bulbs are to be planted must now be dug 13 or 2 feet deep, so that planting may begin in the following month. These beds, which had been already dug deep in the months of January and February, and in which (as has been mentioned) the dung was dug i ft. deep, were cropped with vegetables or annuals during summer.
Art. VII. Notice respecting some new hybrid Primroses raised
between the Polyanthus and the Chinese Primrose. By JAMES SEYMOUR, Kitchen-Gardener to the Countess of Bridgewater, at Ashridge. I ENCLOSE three blossoms of seedling Prímulæ ; one a fine lilac, which was raised between a dark polyanthus and a fringed Chinese primrose; and the other two, shades of pale lilac, the result of a cross of the pink variety of Chinese primrose with the white. I have other seedlings, the produce of a cross between the common primrose and Prímula sinensis ; their foliage partakes much of that of the common primrose, but they have not yet flowered.
To have good Prímula plants to bloom early in the autumn, I sow the seed about the middle of February, in a light sandy soil, in pans well drained, placed in a frame with a gentle heat, and where they can have both air and light. When the plants come up, and are large enough for potting, 1 prick them out into small pots in a compost of leaf-mould, white sand, bog soil, virgin loam, and a little sheep's dung, mixed all well together. The plants are kept growing, and shifted into larger pots as they require; taking care not to give them too large a pot at once, and to keep them well drained. I give the plants occasionally a little sheep-dung water, which I have found is of great use. They must not want water at any time, and yet too much must not be given to them at once ; for, if the soil be suffered to become sodden at any time, the plants are apt to give way at the collar ; and if, after being wet, they are suddenly dried, and exposed to a hot sun, it does them much harm, and particularly' if they are in bloom, as the flowers are then sure to fall off. When I want a few plants more bushy than usual, and to flower in the winter and spring, I cut the flower stems out in the autumn. The pots ought to be pretty well filled with roots before the winter ; as this will prevent the plants from damping off. I likewise make a sowing in June, to have them in bloom late in the spring; always selecting the best-shaped flowers, with good colour, and fringed, for saving seed from. I generally impregnate the pin-eyed ones by taking the pollen of a superior rose-eyed one with a penknife, and putting it upon the stigma of the other ; to impregnate the rose-eyed ones, I put my mouth to the flower, and gently draw my breath, and return it into the bloom. If I want a fine specimen plant in bloom, I take a pair of grape scissors and thin the blooms, as well as the flower stalks, altogether.
The changeable-flowered variety, which changes from a pure white to a rosy pink, had 9 Power stems, with 58 flowers in bloom, and 71 buds; making a total of 129 buds. Flowers 2 in. in diameter ; leaves 5 in. each way. Plant
2 ft. across, and 84 in. in height (I do not let the flower stems have more than one to two trusses of blooms on each), in a 24-sized pot. Feb. 28. 1839.
The dark-flowered variety had 7 flower stems, with 43 flowers in bloom, and 64 buds, making a total of 107 buds ; average size of the blooms 14 in. in diameter. Plant 71 in. in height; 16 leaves upon the plant, 51 in. each way. Rose eye. Leaves drooping, and very much cut; ntre stem 13 flowers in bloom, and 13 buds, total 26 buds. Plant 15 in. across, in a 32-sized pot. Feb. 25. 1839.
Frithsden Gardens, Ashridge, Great Berkhamstead, Jan. 10. 1840.
Art. VIII. On retaining the Tendril of the Grape Vine. By R. T.
In the remarks which have come within my reach, on the culture of grapes, I have never seen any thing respecting the propriety of retaining or laking off the tendril or clasper, which grows on the bunch, and which, if left on, usually perishes. I mean if under glass; as, if it is on the open walls, it will be frequently found to twist round the nails or shoots of the vine, and thus support the bunch ; but, owing to the bunches hanging down, it seldom happens that there is anything within the reach of the tendril to which it can cling, and consequently it dies. Whether there are any cultivators who endeavour to preserve it, considering it essential, I do not know; but, as we are taught to believe that the Great Creator has made nothing in vain, I am inclined to think that even this is worthy of notice. I believe it will be found that most people take the tendril off; as some say it draws the nourishment from the bunch ; but I am inclined to think otherwise: and I wish to call the attention of your readers to it at this time, as the forcing season is coming on; and, if hitherto they have taken no notice of it, they will (some of them, at least) I hope, turn their attention to it, and report accordingly.
I have taken up the subject in consequence of hearing a person say, when walking through the vinery, and seeing the tendrils taken off without any apparent injury, that he had been told that if they were taken off the bunches would go blind. This we are sure would not be the result ; but I would ask, of what use is the tendril, when at so early a stage it is so common to see it wither away under glass, and at the same time, if out of doors, and able to lay hold of any thing, it will remain with the bunch through every stage, growing with its growth, and, at last, ripening with it ? Not wishing the above remark to be useless, I paid some little attention to it through the summer, by placing some of the bunches so that the tendrils should come in contact with the wires or shoots, and in some cases twisted them once or twice round; and, from what I observed, I am confirmed in the opinion, that they should never be taken off: but, as I do not wish any one to believe it without further proof, I hope some one will be induced, as well as myself
, this spring, to give it a fair trial, as it will cause but little trouble and may be useful.
Middlesex, Dec, 27. 1839.
ART. IX. On the Cultivation of the Alpine Strawberry in Pots.
By James SEYMOUR, Gardener to the Countess of Bridgewater, at Ashridge.
I sow the seeds in boxes, about the middle of February, in a light sandy soil, and place the box upon a flat hot-water pipe, in a vinery, where it is not too hot; taking care to sow the seed very thin, and to cover it very slightly. The seed should be saved the year previous to sowing. I always save my own seed, from some of the largest and earliest fruit, as there is much difference in the shape and size of this kind of strawberry. The soil I use is a