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, Y .-... RURAL NOTES. ■ ■…


Y RURAL NOTES. ■ ■ ■ • — By Mr. J. Muir, Marram Abbay, Glamorganshire. AUBWEItS 10 COERESPONDBNXS. Untss m special eases, no replies will be sent f. ta readers by post, but all inquiries will hals prompt and careful attention under this heading, and we invite notes end questions m ALL rural subjects. TKKBS INJUKFID BY FaosT,-R. Evans (Derby).— ■J >u do not state what kind they are. I think you vvill find it is only the shoots formed during 1890 that are injured, and that the trea will push new growth from the older wood in spring. Do not cut Kvray tha old or injured parts until this baa cccurrad then mert-ty remove the dead points. BONKS AS MANURE.—"Retired Colonel."—You do not say to which plants or crops you intend applying the boDes, but you cannot do wrong in Using them for all crops from which a large return should he secured. Pines, vines, peache?, tomatoes, flowfjing plants generally are Vt*ry partial to bo.te". Vegetable crops delight in thum, and so flo ao field crop?, but they are rather expensive to use on tha iarm. I have known bones to be saved from the kitchen, broken up and introduced to the Boil, bit these are of less value than those tl at littvs been crushed to siz<!s of fin., Jm., or lirt., and prepared chemically. They are not so quick ir. their action as some manures, but very durable, and will give splendid Returns for years. FROIT TREES NOT BKAEIKC. — "Narherth." —I would have been gfod if you had stated the age of your trrtee, the aspect they occupy, and the kind of soil in which th^y are growing. Please write again giving these particulars, and I will tel! you then whether they require root-triinmin; or some other remedy. The fuller the particulars given in asking questions the more likely is the roply to bo Advantageous. NAME OF APPLE.—" Wntet ford."—It is the old Caishead,' so named from the resemblance the fruit bears to the forui of a cat's head. You will observe the likeness in your sample. It is known in nurseries under that name. It iR a prolific apple, generally of good size, in season from December till February, but it is only intended for tho kitchen, and is not suitable for dessett. You nsk for my olinion I am gre.itly in favour of it, and grow it here. It may not have been included in some of the lists given, but 't merits cultur* mall gardens and orchard*. Its bust properties are only developed as the tree gains size. It is not so pro- lific as some when small. BOOM; ON TIn: POINTS OF A HORSK.—" Merchant." —There is a book on the subject. It is termed "The Pointa of a Horse." Apply The Vet., 60, jficcadilly, London, W. Price is" 6d. PKONIN# FaulT TBRKS IN FhOST. Anxious" (Po terborough).—What your neighbour told you is not correct. It is not true that fruit trees or any others are injured if pruued in the time of sharp frost. I have pruned thousands at that time, and I never observed the slightest injury result. The most, practical growers generally prune when it is too severe to do any work in the soil. You need have no apprehension about the trees you have pruned. THICXNISS or WiltS NETTING. R. Watson."— The guage indicates it < thickness. Guage nineteen is Very thin aad will not la^t any time. Guage eighteen is much used and is very durable* Guage seventeen is extra strong. The prizes vary accor- ding to sizx of gua!za and size of mesh. That which is 3ft. wide, 2m. mesh, guage eighteen, would be very suitable to put round your covers to prevent rabbits and other ground animals retching your crops. WEIGHT fBft ACBB OF SWEDES. Beginnrr."— An average crop is from eighteen to twenty tons per acre, but with special culture almost double this is often secured. You should not be satis- fied with less than eighteen tons to the vro. STBAWBKBa* PLANTS.—Several renders fear that their a- rawbori y beds are much injured by recent frosts, the plants appearing much withered. I do not think that they need ba greatly alarmed. I have had strawberry plants almost denuded of their foliage by froit; yet th"y produced leave* and blossom as freely as ever in due season, and the crop wa* nuno the worse. At the same time, a little protection is beneficial. As soon as the ground is free from frost a thin layer of somewhat long manure should be spread over the top of the plants and extended over the soil occupied by the root* UAND POIt PROPAGATING.—J. Pearson.—River saud is ff- quently used, but it is not so good ai what is termed silver sand. This is a sharp, white land, only obtainable in some parts of the country, but it may be procured from all nursery and seeds- B en. Itfacttitttesthe r,oting of cuttings to a wonderful extent. You should try it, especi-illv its you think your local sand is unsuitable. WILD BIBBS DTINC.—Miss Gray.-I, too, have noticed a great many wild birds ifing dead recently. The weather id killing thrrn, The bird you forward is commonly called tbo brambling or moun'ain finch. The scientific nam*; Is" fringilim, montifringilla." THE LA. FLKCMB FOWL."— Young1 Poincicr. 't is essential that the deaf ear should be white. This is an important point. A pen deficient ir litis respect might take a priz? if all the others ih t were the same, but good white-eared birdi would be preferred. They should be massive {owls—c 'Ck about 9!bs„ hen from Slbs. to 7ib*. FOOD FOR PIOIONS.—F. Walker.-At pre'en*: Indian corn and barley—especially the latter—era is good as any food you can us*. Tney require a, good deal of it at present, as they center pick up much in the open at mid-winter. GaKEN Ross.—W.Andcrsoa.—Tttera are ono or two varieties, but they are not attractive. You would be disappointed with them, and they can .nly be regarded as curiosities. I do not grow Iheif, but have seen them in Kew Gardens. STOCE iroit FJEACH TREES.—" Liverpool."—Tha ttum it Oft. of the best stocks that c*u be used for the peach. Being an amateur, the budding would prove interesting to you, but I fancy you would lose a good deal of time over it. You would find it uiore profitible to buy a young; tree ready for fruiting. LKAF MOTSJ>.—B. Turner.—You have done quita Tight to make tbe-l^Tea into a heap. Keep them moist, and turn thwn *wer onca a month or ao. Those collected I«st autumn will not be rp&iy for upwards of iwelve months. A VALUABLE Phuv. The majority of readers, in asking for fruit of various kinds, hint that they are anxious for sorts that are good bearers. approve of their having this desire, and it is Uiportant that a selection should be made, inasmuch as there are sorts amongst all classes of fruit that are very shy fruiters. In some dis- tricts they only bear partially in others not at all, or only now and again, which is very disappointing to those who buy the trees and give them much attention. 'J he green- gage is one of the finest of all plums where it is prolific; but in many instances it is the reverse. The most prolific of all plums is the Victoria, which no one can be wrong in planting. As a wall tree, it will fruit with the utmost certainty on Bouth, east, and west aspects, and frequently on the. north side. It is the best of all plums for a bush or standard. The fruit attain a large size: they are an attractive red colour, and the flavour when quite ripe is excellent. Those who have failed with other sorts and have not now a good opinion of plums should introduce this sort exclusively. I strongly recommend it to all, no matter in what part of the oountry they may be situated, A PKICOTS, Apricots succeed very well ill some parts of the country, but in others, and in the majority of instances, they never prove a profitable orop. The branches have a peculiar habit of dying off without any apparent cause, and this, combined with the great uncertainty of their fruiting in a satisfactory manner, makes their culture a matter of little interest, I do not advise anyone to plant many apricot trees, unless they are sure their diatriot is one that suits them, It is this more than culture that promotes good re- sults. When nicely ripened the apricot is a[favourite fruit as dessert and one of the Jjeat of all for preserving, but their uncer- tainty in fruiting stands much against them. MV*o»e who will insist in tryir^ the apricot "pnly plant one tree to Drove whether returns will indicate that more should be planted or not* # FOWLS NOT LAYING. Several readers write that they are not obtaining so many egga as usual from their hens, and wish to know the eause. I do not think it is difficult to discover this. The season and weather have always a great influence on fowls. This is shown from their earliest existence. In a genial spring and summer the eggs hatch better, the ohioks are very robust originally, they grow fast, and attain the most profitable develop- ment. They had none of these advantages in the forepart of 1890, and the autumn and winter so far have not been in their favour. In bad seasons they should have extra atten- tion and the best of feeding to compensate for the other deficiencies, but few think of giving these in proper time. In trying to increase the supply of eggs at present they should receive a breakfast of very warm food. Meal composed of half barley and half maize is a suitable food for giving warm at present. Pea or bean meal may be substituted for the maize. Oats if given warm are excellent for egg-produoing. Wheat and barley may also be used, but as fowls are more inactive now than in summer, Indian corn whole should form but a very small part of their food. Green food must be constantly supplied. If nothing else can ba obtained, give turnips. Cut the bulbs in half before throwing them to the fowls. Kitchen scraps, including bones on which there is some roughness," are also a valuable assistant to the production of eggs. Fine clean bone dust, free from the chemical ingredients that con- vert it into artificial manure, is one of the best egg foods that can be given in small quantity, but regularly, at this time. Clean- liness in the runs, and especially in the roost- ing place, is important. This, with a daily »upply of pure water, will soon make fowls that have not been laying well of late ajjumo that desirable habit. All fowls hatched pre- vious to August, 1890, should be laying now, but hens two, three, or more years old will not do so until the weather becomes warm. As they will not be very prolific then, the best way is to fatten them forthwith, and kill them to make room for young stock. These fowls should have been used in the kitchen early in the autumn. This would have saved keeping them and their supply of food during the winter. The sooner thin defect is remedied t A better. • • CINERARIAS AND PRIMULAS. These are two favourite winter and spring flowering plants. for the greenhouse. They are particularly valuable to small growers. They can be raime(I from seed annually, and do not require much space during the early stages of their culture. The primulas will flower from November till May, but the cineraria, although sometimes grown to bloom at midwinter, is much better if not allowed to flower until March or April. Damp is the primula's greatest enemy in winter, and not only eauses the flowers to perish, but the plants to rot off at the collar. They should be kept in a somewhat dry atmosphere at this time. If any indication of decay of the stem sets in, place a few pieces of charcoal round it. Do not over water them, but give all the light possible, and a little air on fine days. To enoourage the formation of new flower heads pick all the bid ones off as soon as they decay. A somewhat moist atmosphere is not injurious to oineraries when out in flower. In fact, it is beneficial to them as it assists to keep the green fly and thrip off the foliage, and these pestli are frequently very troublesome. Indeed, they rain many plants. To ensure fine heads of flowers it is necessary'to keep the plants per- fectly clean at present. The leaves should he well developed and full of life when the flowers are showing. Insects must be destroyed either by fumigating or dissolving a quantity of tobaooo in water and dipping them in this. • • • TUNY PRAMTSS. I do not think that turf frames are in I general use. Many may never have seen them; but they are exceedingly useful and very cheap. Frames are of much use in all gardens in spring, not only for raising and propagating flowers, but to shelter young vegetable plants. These do not require so much heat as protection from cutting winds. For this turf frames are as good as or better than wood. They are constructed by cutting x quantity of torves about lOin. wide, loin, long, and 3in. or 4in. thick. These are built up on the top of each other like brieks until the frame has attained the desired height. It should be made about the t>ame height as the wood frames, that is, higher at the front. When dona the lights may be put on the top with a few boards under them to prevent them coming in contact with the soil. This is a makeshift of a frame, but "makeshifts that will afford protection in a garden are always valued. These turf frames are most useful. If they are not required after the spring is over the tarf will be found in excellent order for potting purposes, or the frames may be retained from one year to another for a long time. • CELERY. Few orops are more appreciated in the garden at this season than celery. It is a fine vegetable cooked and a grand salad raw, but muoh of it is spoiled in the autumn by neglect in earthing it up properly. I amsure that those who have neglected it must regres they did so, and I have no doubt they will remedy the defeat another year. Celery is moderately hardy, and will bear a good many degrees of frost without being killed, but it should always be protected during frosty weather. A thin layer of hay or straw placed over the tops of the plants will ward the frost off it should not be removad until the frost has quite gono. FRUIT-GROWING ON THE INCREASE. It will interest many to know that in the agricultural returns for 1890, recently issued, the area stated to be under fruit was 4,300 acres more than in 1889. Twenty years, ago tlie,re were not more than 150,000 acres of orchard ground in Great Britain now there are 202,305 acres so devoted. Hop culture is greatly on the decrease 54,555 is the acreage given in 1890. I hese figures are the lowest recorded for many years. # MANURE FOR FIELD CROPS. Yorkshireman writes :— "The winter is proving unusually sovero. iH miny parts. This will cause a slack time for both horsas and man on many farms. Lei msadviss them toba employed in clenring out the manure yards and cnrling it iuto the fields where it will be used for root and other crrps in the coming spring. If it is put up In ridges about 5ft. wide and 3ft. high, and covered over with soil, it will be very much better than if left in the yarda, and having it in the fields ready at planting and sowing time will save a great deal of labour at a preying se <-on." • m VEGETABLES FOR WINTER AND SPRING, Mr. Atkins, of Kelton, Aigburth, Liver- pool, recently reoeived a prize for an essay read before the members of the Liverpool Horticultural Association. A considerable portion of the essay referred to the forcing of vcgetabks—a mode of producing them which, unfortunately, is confined to a few. Hardy crops were well dealt with, as the following extract from tho will show :— > ¡-t.I($"I.d Ar;ic!r.k(j.A moa: ufee-fu! Vr<*cUb!e for wiater use. To ensure a good crop trench a piece of ground in autumn, and give a dressing of manure. In March plant good tubers in rows 22in. apart and 18in. between the tubers. They will be ready for use in November and may be taken up as required. All the remaining tubera may be lifted early in March, those that are wanted for stock re-plaot.d. and the others stored in a cool shed. Beet.—-To secure good crops of this Important and largely-used winter salad choose an open situation and a light sandy soil. In autumn trench the ground to a depth of 2ft., dig it in spring, and break the soil up rather fine. Sow the seed in April or May in drills 2in. deep and 9in. apart. The seeds grow more quickly if steeped in water previous to sowing, afterwards allowing them to bicome dry enough- to separate from each other. When the plants are large enough, thin them to 6in. apart, and in dull weatiier fill any blanks that may occur. Lift the roots before hard frosts come, cut off the leaves to within an inch of the crown, place the roots in a cool shed, and cover them with eand or ashes. Bvocoli.—This vegetable fo lows the autumn cauliflower and is invaluable for winter and spring use. It succeeds be-t in a deop, rich, loamy soil. Prepare the ground iu autumn by trenching and manuring. Sow in a Nann border from March till May and prick off the seedlings when they are large enough. Choose dull, showery weather f'.f the permanent planting, which should be dona in June or July. Allow ;i distance of two to three feat between the rows and an equal distance belweer. the plants. The heads of the plants should be bent northwards befo.e irost sets in, and in so doing care must be taken to disturb the roots as little its possible. Bruts'ls Sprouis.—Tliia is one of the most pro- duct ve and delicious of our winter vugeubles. To secure it in good form it should be grown in deep, rich soil, which must be trenched two feet deep and heavily manured in winter. In Februnry and March sow the seed in boxes or pons of light soil, nnd place them in a cool house. When the pluots are large enough prick them into C'tld frames or prepared beds in a warm border. In May or June transplant, in rowlI 2ft. to 3ft. apart, 1'aving a space of ISiu. to 24in. between the plants. PUnt with good bolls of roots and give a good watering that they may receive as little checlt as possible. Keep them clear from weeds and eart h up as so n as la1 ge enongh. Cabbages.—To ensura a good supply of cabbages for the winter and "pring months is is necessary that they be planied in good, well-manured ground. Select a somewhat sheltered situa- tion for the winter and earliest spring crop, which should not be planted too loon in the autumn, as the plants are more liable to run to seed. For a spring supply sow from the end of July to the middle of August in beds of light soil, afterwards covering ttie beds with uniting to protect the seeds from the ravages of birds. Trasapltut, when large enough, in line. IBin. to 2ft. apart, and the same betweer tho phnltl. To provide a supply during the winter, sow Colewort cabbngea from the middle of June to the end of July, and transplant, when large, to oas foot apart.


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