Friday, 13 March 2009

Horticulturist, Or, The Culture and Management of the Kitchen, Fruit and Forcing Garden.

Horticulturist, Or, The Culture and Management of the Kitchen, Fruit and Forcing Garden
John Claudius Loudon, William Robinson

The method of proceedure was as follows :-- About the middle of May a place was prepared for the plants on the south border ; a trench was formed from five to six feet wide at the top and about two feet at bottom, of sufficient depth to protect the plants from the wind. Three bricks on edge were then placed at regular distances in the trench in the form of a triangle for the pots to stand upon to ensure efficient drainage. Then the pine plants, which had finished blooming, and had been wintered in a pit heated with dung and leaves, at a temperature of from 50º to 60º, were brought out and placed on the bricks. The soaces betweebn the pots and the sides of the trench were then filled up to the rims of the pots, with half spent leaves. Owing to the cold rains, however these leaves never heated. A layer of charred hay or grass was then spread over all to absorb and retain the solar heat. [must be black?]. The plants received no other protection whatever. The weather continued dark, stormy and rainy. On the 1st of July ice was actually found at 6 am. Such plants as heliotropes, dahlias, French beans, and even pelargoniums, were blacked by frost in September ; but the pines received little check, and swelled well. The suckers were clean and strong, and were potted in the first week of October ; several of them fruited in the open ground next year. Some of the fruit cut out of doors in 1848 were produced by suckers taken from fruit cut out of doors the previous year. All the out-of-door fruit had pretty little crowns, and the fruit was of good quality. Mr Barnes continued the practice for many years with similar success. We do not advance it as a system that can be generally adopted ; still it proves what can be done, and it is interesting and instructive. Possibly even more could be accomplished by giving the plants a hot-bed to grow upon. This much seems certain, that the amateur or suburban gardener who can command a strong-fruiting plant to start with, a barrow of hot dung, and one of Rendle's Round Plant Protectors, need never despair of enjoying a pine-apple.

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