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GROWING VEGETABLES

There are several forms of vegetables which, while the culture is not specially dissimilar, may yet, for convenience, be divided into five classes: those the edible part of which is produced beneath the surface of the soil and are known as root vegetables; those which set fruit above ground; those whose fruit is produced on vines; such plants as are used entire, as lettuce and the various greens, and those perennial forms which include the asparagus, artichokes, rhubarb and horse radish, and the like.

We will first consider the general culture of the plants which produce heads, pods, ears, or other fruit, and which may be roughly designated as head or pod vegetables.

TOMATOES

Start tomatoes by sowing seed in a hotbed in spring, or start them in flats in the house and plant them in the open ground when all danger of frost is passed. They require well-manured soil, and when there is a limited supply of fertilizer, it will be well to put two or three spadefuls in each hill, spreading it over a couple of square feet of surface, as the tomato makes considerable root growth. Plant in rows, four feet apart each way if no support is to be given, three feet if the plants are to be grown on racks or trellises.

To let a tomato plant spread on the ground and grow as it will is wasteful. During the past ten years perhaps a dozen different methods of growing pruned plants have been tried out. The fruit produced under such natural conditions is inferior in size to that of the pruned plant, is frequently ill-shaped and of uneven ripening; and the fruit that does develop normally is subject to rot and attack by insects. Records over a number of seasons show the average loss of fruits from such causes to be about 25 percent of the whole.

The tomato is an exceedingly rank grower, and unless its tendency to make a big plant is checked and directed into other channels, it will make about ten times as much herbage as is necessary. Different methods of growth, of course, necessitate different methods of staking.

Under home garden conditions the general practice is to provide a six foot stake for each plant and to reduce that plant early in its life to the three strongest branches. This is all right with most varieties but there are exceptions. For example, Ponderosa, the strongest and rankest growing of any, should not be allowed more than two branches for the simple reason that the plant is not strong enough to support all the fruit that three branches would bear. I have seen heavy clusters of Ponderosa ripped down the stems, because the weight was too great for the branches to support. On the other hand, the smaller fruited varieties ( Many-fold, for example) may have four branches trained up the stake.

When it comes to blight resistance here are the best and most distinct types, in order of their relative merit: Globe, purple; Bonny Best, bright red; Manyfold, bright red; John Baer, bright red; Stone, bright red; Coreless, scarlet; Beauty, purple; Magnus, purple; Ponderosa, purple; Earliana, scarlet.

This would seem to indicate that on the whole, the scarlet varieties are more blight-resistant than the purple ones, with the exception of Livingston's Globe which, as a blight resister, is in a class of its own. Globe is really the variety that has made Florida famous as a producer of perfect tomatoes in recent years.

In the fall, at the approach of hard frost, the green tomatoes may be gathered and placed on racks in a warm, sunny position, where they will continue to ripen for some time, or the plants may be dug up, the roots wrapped in burlap, and hung in a warm, sunny place, where the fruit will ripen very well; I have kept them in the barn until November in this way. Or use may be made of an empty hotbed, in which the green tomatoes are placed on racks or on a bed of straw, and so continue to enjoy them far beyond their usual season.

In conclusion here the names of ten sorts of tomatoes that have proven their merit. One dozen plants each of an early pink and purple sort and two dozen plants of two main crop varieties supply all the tomatoes a family of six can eat, with a surplus of 5 bushels for canning under favourable soil and season conditions.

NAMES OF SORTS

FIRST

FRUIT

RIPENED

AFTER

WEIGHT

OF

AVERAGE

FRUIT

IN

OUNCES

SEASON OF

BEARING

AVERAGE NUMBER FRUITS PER PLANT

Red or Scarlet

 

 

 

 

Spark's Earliana

100 days

6

Short, 2 pickings

15

Chalk's Early Jewel

108 days

7

Long, 4 pickings

19

Stone

116 days

91

Late, 3 pickings

20

Coreless

120 days

9.5

Late, 3 pickings

15

Dwarf Stone

114 days

6}

Late, 3 pickings

12

Pink or Purple

 

 

 

 

June Pink

98 days

6

Short, 2 pickings

15

Beauty

108 days

7

Early, 3 pickings

16

Globe

114 days

7.25

Early, 4 pickings

18

Magnus

116 days

7

3 pickings

20

Trucker's Favorite

116 days

 

Late, 3 pickings

16

BEANS

Are a tender class of vegetables, and the seed of any varieties should not be planted out until the nights and soil are warm. Usually the middle of May, at the North, will be found to be quite early enough. In cold, wet soil the seed will decay instead of growing, while the opposite is true where the seed is given a warm location and a warm, sandy soil. The soil should be deeply prepared and well enriched with old manure.

The seed of bush varieties should be sown in drills, two feet apart, and the beans dropped two inches apart in the row and covered two inches deep, treading down the earth after planting.

If the beans are to be used for string beans or fresh shell beans, they may be planted every two weeks for a succession, but for dried beans to use with pork in winter, should be planted early and kept well cultivated and clean until the pods ripen in the fall.

Beans should not, for best results, be planted in a low, wet place or in too much shade. They must not be worked or handled when wet, as this will cause them to mildew. Therefore a warm, sunny position, where they will dry quickly in the morning, is best.

One quart of bean seed will plant a hundred feet of drill and give sufficient beans for a good-sized family. They may be planted for a succession of string beans up to the fifteenth of August. Pole varieties yield much larger crops than the bush forms, and by training to strings, wire netting, etc., may be planted close up to the garden fence or the poultry yard, or serve as a screen to hide outbuildings or parts of the garden if desired. The expense of poles is, however, avoided by planting only the bush varieties.

The varieties most generally cultivated are the following :

VARIETY NAME

READY

FOR

TABLE IN

LENGTH

OF POD

(INCHES)

SEASON

OF

BEARING

Bountiful

60 days

6.5

6 weeks

Full Measure

65 days

6

4 weeks

Fordhook Favorite

70 days

5.5

5 weeks

Keeney's Stringless Refugee

80 days

5

Until frost

Burpee's New Kidney Wax

60 days

6.5

6 weeks

Sure Crop Wax

65 days

6.5

Until frost

Brittle Wax ..

65 days

5.5

6 weeks

Keeney's Stringless Refugee Wax

75 days

5

Until frost

HIGHEST QUALITY LIMA BEANS

In one respect the two great American vegetables, corn and lima beans, are alike—you must grow them yourself, gather them when "just right," and prepare promptly, or the elusive "quality" will not be there at mealtime. The rich, marrow-like, peculiarly characteristic flavour of lima beans cannot be canned, captured by drying, or gotten hold of in any other way than via the home garden.

Both the tall or climbing, and dwarf or bush limas are of specific usefulness. The dwarf sorts are unquestionably the earlier, but the very much longer branches of the tall sorts bear more pods, and consequently their yield is greater ; and notwithstanding the introduction of very large podded dwarf sorts, the pole limas generally surpass in size both of pods and shelled beans. Where garden space is limited and poles are not available, pole limas may be grown along fences or trellises, thus serving the treble purpose of creating shade, hiding unsightly objects, and yielding food.

As to difference in flavour between bush and pole limas I can truthfully say there is none. A great deal depends at what stage of development the pods are picked and how soon after picking the beans are shelled and cooked. Thirty minutes of cooking may bring out the flavour to perfection while forty-five minutes may neutralize it.

Still, a great leeway is possible in connection with these various factors if you press into service pedigreed quality kinds of proven behaviour; and it is in the endeavour to introduce you to limas that always behave, that I first mention :

Fordhook Bush Lima is the largest podded form of the old-fashioned "fat" or potato lima. The pods average 5 inches long, are borne in pairs or double pairs and contain on an average four large, thick, green-skinned beans that truly have no superior in flavour. (Incidentally, here is a "tip": whenever you see a green-skinned lima, make up your mind that it is far superior in flavour to the white or yellow-skinned bean) . A week to ten days after Fordhook has yielded its first picking, the Burpee-Improved brings us its large, flat pods equal in size to any pole variety. The pods average 5 1/2 inches long and contain on an average 5 beans which, in the green stage, are as large as those of the largest pole limas.

The introduction of these two sorts marked the dawn of a new era in bush limas for, popular as old Burpee's Bush Lima, Quarter Century, or Wonder Bush are to-day, both Fordhook and Burpee-Improved are bound to supersede as soon as seeds can be produced in sufficient quantity. The third of the really pedigreed bush limas is Extra Early Wilson or Extra Early Giant Bush, a comparatively new corner which is the product of persistent selection for earliness. Its pods do not average any larger than those of Fordhook, and contain flat beans which bulk less, but they are ready for picking from 5 days to a week before any other bush variety with the exception of the old Wood's Prolific. This however is fairly obsolete.

TALL OR CLIMBING SORTS

As in the case of bush limas, the pole varieties started to make most rapid strides in popular favour after a new variety some twenty years ago almost revolutionized lima bean growing. Large White Lima and its improved form, King of the Garden, were the recognized leaders among pole limas. They required such a long season, however, that in most sections growers had to be satisfied with gathering about half the pods set, for the frost would gather the other half. Then came Henderson's Leviathan, marking the first forward step toward shorter seasons of development for pole limas. Its pods are not so large as those of the older kinds, nor are the beans, but within 100 days Leviathan perfects a good portion of the pods that set early, and, where frost stays away for four months, it is a most prodigious yielder of handsome pods, borne in large clusters.

Some years ago a specialist on the Pacific Coast started to experiment in selecting pods bearing a majority of green-tinted beans. And four years of constant effort in one direction produced highly gratifying results. In honour of its birthplace, which is the home of all that is good in limas, the new variety was called Carpinteria; and in Carpinteria Lima we have unquestionably the very highest quality pole lima in cultivation today. In general character of pods or bearing qualities it does not differ greatly from Leviathan except that the shelled beans are more elongated and that all of them have the desirable green tint. In season of bearing it will prove slightly earlier than Leviathan, yielding the second picking when Leviathan is just perfecting its first pods.

Truly the leader of them all for size, Burpee's Giant Podded is actually what its name implies. Monstrous pods 6 to 8 inches long, containing from 5 to 7 beans an inch or more in diameter, are ready to please those who look for size. And notwithstanding these extraordinary dimensions, the young green beans are quite thin-skinned and tender. Where long growing seasons prevail and size is wanted this Giant Podded form will find a ready welcome.

SWEET CORN

Is one of the more tender vegetables the seed of which should not be planted until all danger of frost is passed. This, at the North, will be as late as the twentieth of May, though a chance crop may be planted by May 1st on light, warm soil. One quart of seed will plant two hundred hills, which should be made three feet apart each way. The seed should be planted in slightly raised hills, dropping a number of kernels in each hill to allow for any failing to sprout; after the corn is up, these extra plants should be pulled out, leaving three plants in a hill. The extra early sorts may be planted in rows two and a half feet apart, and the hills eighteen inches apart. Plant the seed half an inch deep, and either tramp upon it or pat it down firmly with the hoe. Where the ground is not very heavily manured, a tablespoonful of phosphate may be placed in each hill with benefit.

When the corn has attained three or more feet in height, it will be well to go through the rows and pull out all side shoots and those which will not set ear, allowing the entire strength of the plant to go to the making of corn.

The green shoots removed makes excellent feed for the horse, cow, or pig, and is greatly relished by them. Corn is, of all garden vegetables, the most economical to grow, as there is absolutely no waste, such corn as may not be used for the table making the finest feed for the poultry in winter, especially, for the fattening of cockerels, and the cornstalks, if cut before they are too dry, makes excellent fodder for stock of any kind.

Corn may be planted every two weeks, for a succession, until the middle of July.

For early corn, one must plant the extra early varieties, such as the Early Dawn, Golden Bantam, or the Early Catawba, but for toothsome sweetness there is no corn to equal Country Gentleman, and the later the season the sweeter and better it is. We are now October 7th eating White Evergreen that is far better and sweeter, than the earlier planting of the same variety, though we have had several sharp frosts—frosts that have badly cut the field corn; but the sweet corn, being somewhat protected by trees, has suffered little, if any, injury.

Corn should be cultivated thoroughly and constantly as long as it is safe to work among it; this will admit of half a dozen cultivations each way at least, and at the end of this time the ground should be in the condition that few, if any, weeds will appear.

Here is a list of varieties that will provide ears of top-notch quality throughout the season. Where space permits, plant the entire assortment for perfect succession. If room for only one sort, "stick" to Golden Bantam.

VARIETY NAME

READY

FOR

USE

COLOR

LENGTH

OF

EAR

NUMBER

OF

ROWS

Early Dawn

75 days

White

6 inches

10 rows

Earliest Catawba

80 days

White

6 inches

10-12 rows

Golden Bantam

80 days

Yellow

6 inches

8 rows

Howling Mob

85 days

White

8 inches

12-14 rows

Crosby's Twelve Rowed

90 days

White

6 inches

12-14 rows

White Evergreen

93 days

White

8 inches

16-18 rows

Seymour's Sweet Orange

93 days

Yellow

8 inches

10-12 rows

Country Gentleman

95 days

White

10 inches

irregular

Golden Rod

95 days

Yellow

8 inches

8 rows

Golden Cream

96 days

Yellow

6 inches

Irregular

CABBAGE

At the North cabbages are usually started in coldframes or hotbeds early in March and planted out as soon as danger of killing frosts is passed. They succeed best in a deep, rich soil, heavily manured, and in some localities cannot be grown successfully on the same ground year after year; in other sections this does not seem to make any difference, and in my own garden they have grown in the same spot for several successive seasons.

They should be well cultivated and kept free from weeds. The cabbage worm is very troublesome in some sections, but in the private garden need not make any serious trouble. As soon as the little white butterflies appear, the plants should be watched for the presence of eggs, and when these are found and removed, the worms are disposed of ; the eggs will be found in a small yellow patch on the underside of the leaves; they are quite conspicuous, and easily removed.

Early cabbage is sometimes given to cracking as soon as ripe, and must be used at once, as the new growth commences then. To prevent this, the roots may be cut off on one side of the plant as soon as the head has attained its growth and the plant tipped over on its side; this checks growth, and the head will then keep for some time.

For late cabbage, seed is sown in the open ground from April to June, and the plants transplanted into permanent rows early in July, setting the plants in rows two and a half feet apart and two feet apart in the rows, which is the space allowed the early cabbage. The cabbage fly is likely to trouble the young seedling cabbage plants, and they should be dusted with wood ashes, air-slacked lime, tobacco dust, or road dust, as soon as the plants are above ground; this should be done while yet the plants are wet with dew in the morning.

CABBAGES BEST FOR GENERAL USE

A packet of cabbage seed contains more than enough to raise all the plants you and your neighbour can use. For the average home garden, a dozen plants of an early and of a midseason sort and two dozen each of a late and a Savoy cabbage fill all requirements.

VARIETY NAME

NUMBER

DAYS FROM

SEED TO

HEADS

TYPICAL

SHAPE

MOST SUITABLE BOIL

Early Jersey Wakefield .

100-110

Conical

Medium light for early planting

Eureka First Early 

100-110

Round

Medium light for early planting

Allhead Early

120-125

Flatround

Medium light for early planting

Copenhagen Market.   

100-110

Round

Strong, medium heavy

All Seasons  

130-135

Round

Grows well in any good soil

Succession   

13.5-140

Flatround

Medium light to fairly heavy.      No

too wet

Premium Flat Dutch   

150-160

Flat

Medium light to fairly heavy.     No

too wet

Danish Ballhead

150-160

Round

Strong  soil,   free  from   stem   ro

bacteria

Impr. American Savoy

150-160

Round

Average good

Danish Round Red

150-160

Round

Strong, rather heavy

CAULIFLOWERS

Are given practically the same culture as cabbages, starting the plants in the hotbed in April and planting out when danger of heavy frost is past.

Particular attention must be paid to the young plants for the first week, as they are very liable to be cut off by cut-worms. When this occurs, the only remedy is to replace the plants with others from the coldframe.

Spring outdoor-started plants will not give very early cauliflowers, but will come on in July and August, and are used for pickling as well as for the table. Where it is desired to grow cauliflowers for the summer use on the table, it will be necessary to start the plants very early in the hotbeds, or in the South start them in the fall and winter in coldframes, and plant out as early in spring as the ground can be worked. The wintering in cold-frames hardens them, so that this early planting is possible, which is not the case with the tender greenhouse or hotbed plants. At the North, plants of the cabbage and cauliflower cannot well be kept over in coldframes.

If there is a rather wet, low spot in the garden, it may be used for the cauliflower better than for almost any other vegetable.

The cabbage worm often causes serious trouble with the cauliflowers, and as soon as the little white butterflies are seen hovering about the plants, search must be made for the eggs and these destroyed. They will be found on the underside of the leaves—a little patch of yellow eggs—and are easily removed.

As soon as the curd, or head, is set and is as large as a teacup, the plant must be tied up by drawing the tips of the leaves together and tying them with a string. This must never be done, however, when it is wet with rain or dew. Mid-day, on a bright day, is the best time for the work. If tied up when the leaves or curd is wet, the heads will decay; if not tied up, a second growth will quickly start and ruin the heads.

Unlike cabbage, cauliflowers cannot be kept during winter, being very perishable, and must be used within a day or two of attaining perfection, or the flavour is impaired. Cauliflower is one of the most delicious of table vegetables and should come into general use; it is far more delicate in flavour than cabbage, and one of the most attractive vegetables which appears on the table.

Very good cauliflower may be raised by the ordinary culture given cabbage—cauliflowers averaging eight or nine inches across—but to grow really fine heads, a foot or fifteen inches in diameter, snowy white, and perfect, requires special culture. To this end the plants must have an abundant water supply during the dry months of the summer, watering every other day, and cultivating between times. Liquid manure should be given at least once a week, and twice a week will be better. With this extra care, cauliflowers may be produced that will be the envy of one's neighbors.

Cauliflowers do better during cool weather, and are at their best in the late days of September and October. A light frost seems to benefit rather than injure them, and tying the leaves over the curd protects them from even a severe frost, but when a frost has cut the leaves badly, the curds should be gathered and used, as decay sets in very soon after.

PEAS

Sow peas as early as the ground can be worked in spring; old gardeners usually claim that they like to have the last snow find their peas in the ground; certain it is that peas like a cool soil, and often fail to germinate when the weather and soil are warm. The dwarf varieties are usually preferred for the private garden, but will not bear as heavily as the taller sorts; but as these require brushing, the difference in labour is by many considered to more than offset their extra productiveness. Poultry netting makes ideal support for the tall growing sorts, and if rolled up and stood in a dry place after the peas are gathered, will last a lifetime.

The wrinkled varieties are far ahead in tender sweetness of the smooth varieties, but as they are not as hardy, they should be planted in well-drained warm, sandy ground for the first planting.

Peas may be planted for a succession every two weeks up to the middle of June, then should be discontinued until the middle of August, when sowings of the extra-early varieties may be made for a late crop.

In planting, sow in double rows, six to eight inches apart, the rows from two to three feet apart. Plant the seed four inches deep and tread down the rows, going over the rows lightly with the lawn rake when all the seeds are in. This deep planting prevents mildew, and the seed is less apt to be disturbed by moles.

The main crop of peas, which are grown throughthe warmer months, may be planted to advantage on a heavier soil; they should be kept cultivated and free from weeds and the earth drawn up against the vines a couple of times before maturing. This is all the culture required, peas being one of the easiest vegetables to grow.

Here is a list of varieties that have been called "the Aristocrats" among peas. They are sure to perform as promised below, on the basis of many years of trials.

VARIETY NAME

50%

READY

AFTER

LAST

PICKING

DAYS

LATER

HEIGHT OF PLANT

PODS

AV. PER VINE

LENGTH INCHES

Market Surprise

55 days

5

2.5 feet

Five

4

Little Marvel

60 days

7

1.5 feet

Eight

3

Sutton's Excelsior

62 days

4

1.75 feet

Six

4

Thomas Laxton

72 days

6

3        feet

Seven

4

Blue Bantam ..

78 days

6

1.5 feet

Six

4

Alderman

80 days

8

1.5         feet

Eight

4.5

Quite Content..

84 days

6

5                     feet

Eight

5.5

Buttercup ..

87 days

6

2                     feet

Six

4.5

British Wonder

85 days

5

2                     feet

Ten

3.5

Potlach .

86 days

8

2.5 feet

Ten

4.5

Dwarf Champion ..

88 days

7

3                     feet

Seven

3.5

Royal Salute

90 days

5

4                     feet

Ten

4

OKRA

This vegetable is grown for the green pods which are used in soups, to which it imparts a rich gelatinous quality, and are as easily grown as peppers, requiring about the same culture. The seed should not be sown until the ground is warm—about themiddle of May; it should be sown rather thickly in drills, three feet apart, sowing the seed an inch deep and thinning when large enough to stand ten inches apart in the rows.

The pods must be used while young and tender, as when fully grown they are very tough, though they may still be used to flavour soups.

Keep well hoed and free from weeds.

Put the young and tender pods of long, white okra in salted boiling water in granite, porcelain, or a tin-lined saucepan, as contact with iron will blacken them; boil fifteen minutes, remove the stems, and serve with pepper, salt, butter, and, if preferred, vinegar.

PEPPERS

Are grown from seed started early in April in the hotbed or in flats in the house and planted out when all danger of frost is passed. They require rich, well-drained soil and a sunny situation. Where the supply of manure is limited, a spoonful of phosphate may be placed in each hill as the plants are set, and more be scattered about the plants and hoed or raked in until the growth is satisfactory. Set out in rows two feet apart, setting the plants eighteen inches apart in the rows.

The culture that will produce good corn, cabbage, or tomatoes will be right for peppers, as they are of easy culture. Hen manure may be used with this plant, as it is one of the few plants which is not injured by the application of so strong a fertilizer.

The plants come into bearing in July, and if the first peppers are removed while green, the succeeding fruits will come forward more rapidly than if the peppers are allowed to ripen.

Chinese Giant, Magnum Dulce, and Sweet Spanish Giant are the best of the large sweet peppers, the latter being a long pepper, from two to three inches wide and six to eight long; this variety is rather more shapely for stuffed mangoes than the bull-nosed varieties. The large squat peppers are excellent for table use, being prepared in various ways.

Several of the hot and pickle varieties of peppers are both useful and ornamental, the Celestial or Christmas variety being especially ornamental. These may be grown in pots on the kitchen window and the fruit enjoyed throughout the winter. They are an attractive addition to pickled cauliffowers, onions, acid the like.

The Tabasco is an especially beautiful pepper, bearing its fruit in sprays of brightest red, which are extremely fiery and pungent, and the seeds may be used for making pepper vinegar instead of the cayenne.

EGG PLANT

This is one of the few vegetables requiring special care in cultivation. The seed should be started in a warm hotbed in April, and as soon as the plants are three inches high they should be potted off into small pots and plunged back into the soil of the beds. They may be transplanted into the open ground when the weather is quite settled and the soil and nights warm, or they may be repotted into larger pots and set out in the open ground the first of June.

Egg plants require a great deal of heat at the start, and if they receive a setback at this time, rarely recover, so that every effort should be made to keep them from being chilled, while at the same time giving them the necessary amount of ventilation. It is well in planting the seed of egg-plants to reserve a portion in case the first sowing should fail and a later one need to be made.

After the plants are of a size to be planted out there is little difference in the culture accorded them and that given other vegetables, but they should not be allowed to suffer for water, and a weekly dose of liquid manure after the plants bloom will be of benefit.

When about a foot high, the earth should be drawn up about the stem in cultivating. The plants are often seriously injured by the potato-bug, which eats the stem of the blossom at the point where it curves over, seldom, to any extent, the leaves of the plant. Whenever the bug appears early in the season, the plants should be gone over daily to catch and destroy it, or they may be sprayed with Paris green, which at this stage will do no harm. The destruction of these first blossoms will make two or three weeks' difference in the maturing of the first crop and must be met energetically. These first bugs which appear lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves, and these must be looked for and destroyed and little subsequent trouble will be experienced.

Curiously enough, for a plant which starts out in life so peculiarly sensitive to cold, the egg-plant is not hurt by light fall frost, and I have gathered and marketed very fair eggs long after the frost had destroyed tomatoes and other garden stuff.

The best variety to raise is the Early Black Beauty or the Improved New York.

 

 



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