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and with the same effect, — that of enlarging the foliage. We thus have a new crop of these valuable evaporating organs, or lungs as they have been fancifully called, and at a season when it may be very desirable to the health of the plant that a supply of fresh foliage should be on hand; for the older leaves are often injured by storms, by insects, or by accident, and their renewal in this manner will be very opportune.
This treatment is very different from the practice of many of the European vine-dressers, who attempt to manage the free American vine by subjecting it to extremely harsh measures. They break off the ends of the shoots at the last bunch after they have made a considerable growth, and thus sacrifice a portion of the energy of the vine. They often defer this trimming until after the blossoming season, because of a prejudice that prevents any work being done among the vines during that delightfully fragrant period when it is a joy to be in the vineyard, almost equal to that experienced at the time of the vintage. Not satisfied with this sacrifice of growth, these tardy but now energetic pruners tear out all the laterals that may appear; and thus, when provident arrangements have been made for renewing the foliage, they deprive the vine and its fruit of these valuable resources; and it is no wonder, that, with all their efforts to expose their fruit to the burning rays of the sun, they often miserably fail in the desired result of well-ripened fruit.
This pinching cannot all be done at once. As already observed, its best i
effects can only be obtained by commencing very early, when only a portion of the shoots will be sufficiently developed: these should be pinched. The backward shoots will rapidly advance, and in a few days these must be subjected to the same treatment; and very soon the laterals on the first will require pinching. In the course of the summer, other laterals will form, which will need shortening for the same purpose of developing the foliage; but, toward the close of the season, they may be let alone.
Thus it will be seen that the vine-pincher has no sinecure office, but that his attentions will be pretty constantly required during the season of growth.
Cleves, O. John A. Warder.
(To be continued.)
RASPBERRIES FOR THE NORTH-WEST.
In the more favored regions, there are various candidates for public favor amongst the raspberry family; and lately some have been added to the list that are deemed quite an acquisition. But with the severe climate of the North-west, taking it as far north as extreme Northern Illinois, it is doubtful whether they will ever be cultivated to any extent. For this reason, the first requisite is hardiness; and, in this respect, the Philadelphia raspberry and Lawton blackberry, although standard varieties East, are lacking in hardiness, and consequently not valued. Perhaps it is not well to pass judgment on the Philadelphia, as it has not been very thoroughly tested yet; but the Lawton, with most in this locality, is considered nothing more or less than a weed, the roots hard to kill out, but the tops too tender to bear without winter protection, and too stiff and strong to be bent down for winter covering.
The American black-cap raspberry grows wild here, is perfectly hardy, and bears well. Any one who will take the trouble to transplant it from the woods, mulch with coarse manure, and cut back the canes to about two feet in height, need have no lack of a really good raspberry for home use or market. The better way to trim is to pinch back the growing canes when they are about two feet high, allowing only from four to six canes to grow to a hill. This will cause side-branches to be thrown out, which should be cut back in the winter or spring to one foot in length. The novice will be apt to be anxious for all the fruit possible, and will allow the canes to grow full length. These will blossom quite full, set well with fruit, and the proprietor will count on a full harvest until about the time he goes to gather his crop, when he will find, instead of juicy berries, nothing but the dried seeds, dead on the bushes just before ripening. If the pinching back of the canes is neglected during the growing season, do not fail to cut back in the winter or spring to two feet or thirty inches in height.
Doolittle's improved black-cap\s much the same as the wild black-cap, and of larger size; and, in most cases, it will be found cheaper to buy it than to transplant the wild plants from the woods. As the canes bend over and take root at the end, they are easily propagated, and can be bought at reasonable rates.
Another variety is the golden-cap, similar in its habits to the black-cap; but the canes are of a yellowish color, as are the berries. To the taste of some, they are better than the black-cap; but the majority prefer the latter. Last year being a wet season, about the time of ripening they were so much like the black-cap, that, if a handful were eaten without being seen, they could not be told from the black-cap. For a market berry they are considered most profitable, being very abundant bearers, and bearing handling well. One point decidedly in their favor is the fact that the birds will not touch them, probably owing to their color; for, whilst the black-caps growing beside them are stripped from the bushes, they are left unharmed. Perhaps the birds are waiting until they show they are ripe by their dark color.
The purple-cane, a red or purplish raspberry, is excellent for family use, or for market where they need not be shipped long distances, as they will not bear handling so well as the cap varieties. They are propagated, by some, by division of the roots, and said not to root at the tips. This is a mistake, however, as the tips do root.
Although the raspberry will not bring so many dollars per acre as the strawberry, it is less expense, less trouble, and a surer crop.
C. C. Miller.
In the excellent article on "The Lawn," by Charles L. Flint, Esq., which appeared in your last number, it is recommended to sow some grain with the grass-seed, to protect it from the sun during dry weather, the first season. According to my observation and experience, this is too much like setting a lion to protect a lamb. The grain, being the stronger grower, robs the grass, and works positive injury to the young lawn.
If the grass is sown at the earliest moment the condition of the ground will admit, — that is, when it is dry enough to be finely pulverized with harrow and roller, — it will have made sufficient growth, before the dry season comes, to endure any ordinary drought: indeed, a good lawn may be had in the month of June. As to the kind of grass, I find that pure clean redtop is good enough. White clover added, in about the proportion of one bushel to four, makes a good mixture, of which four bushels to the acre is not too much. P. Barry.
Rochesthr, April, 1867.
Musschia Wollastoni. — A Campanulaceous plant, introduced to Kew ten or twelve years ago, from Madeira. It forms a large-leaved undershrub, from two to six feet high, with oblong lanceolate leaves from one to two feet in length, often purplish in color; and has erect panicles, two feet in length, of large yellowish-green flowers. It requires a cool greenhouse.—L 'Illustration Horticole.
Dipladenia amabilis. — A gorgeous stove-climber, raised by Mr. Henry Tuke, gardener to R. Nicholls, Esq., of Bramley near Leeds, and the result of a cross between D. crassinoda and D. splendens. The plant partakes somewhat of the habit of D. crassinoda; but it is of stronger growth, with larger foliage. The blossoms open of a pale-bluish pink, and gradually change to rose, until they finally attain to a richer and deeper hue than that of D. crassinoda. The lobes of the corolla are more rounded in form than in that plant; and the flowers are not only of larger size, but of a very showy character: they are, moreover, very freely produced. — Floral Magazine.
Ivy-lcaved Pelargonium Silver Gem. — The leaves of this variety are bright green, heavily edged with white, and, while young, are prettily zoned with pink. The flowers are larger than in the common form, and of a lilac-rose, blotched in the upper petals with purplish-crimson. Its chief recommendation, however, is its foliage, which renders it peculiarly well adapted for the edgings of beds and for baskets. — Ibid.
Camellia Mrs. Dombrain. — Flowers large, with very small petals, closely and regularly imbricated, of a delicate rose-color, becoming paler towards the edges, and finely veined with a somewhat deeper rose. The leaves are divided by the midrib in two unequal parts.—L'Illustration Horticole.
A SMALL CHEAP PROPAGATING-HOUSE.
A Propagating-house, or pit, is one of the chief necessities of a country place. By its aid the garden can always be well supplied with beddingplants in the summer, and the parlor may be made gay with flowers during the inclement winter months. It is also valuable as a place for preserving bulbs and tubers during the winter, and the ease and small expense of heating it render it attainable to all. The following plans show a cheap and pretty design which any carpenter and mason can construct: —
The propagating-bed is of brick, single width, and nine courses high; size, three feet by ten. Common slate is laid on the top, supported by brick, laid up for the purpose from the top of the flue. A space of half an inch may be left between the slates. On the side, a few openings should be left for ventilation, so arranged as to be closed at pleasure.
Make a frame the size of the top of the bed, of plank, ten inches wide by one and a quarter thick: set this on the top of the bed, and run an iron through the centre to prevent the sides from spreading. In this frame, and on top of the slates, place three inches of pebbles about the size of hickorynuts ; then one inch of fine gravel; then, filling the bed with fine sand, it is ready for use.