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-------..-SPEECHES BY MR.…





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ârÙ£nirtg. [If any reader who isin a difficulty with reference to his garden, will write directly to the ad- dress given beneath, his queries will be an- swered, free of charge, and by return of post. —EDITOR] THE VEGETABLE GARDEN. THE work of February will depend to some great extent on the weather, but we will hope that the winter is almost past. No weeds must be allowed to seed under any circumstances, though many will corns into flower during the month. Dig them in, and they will then form a useful food for succeeding crops. Sow broad beans for the main crop in well cultivated heavy soii, the longpod section being the more productive and early, while the Windsors are better for flavour and general quality. Make the rows quite three feet apart, the plants being fully six inches asunder in the rows. Beyond pinching out the tops when the beans are show- ing pienty of fioweis, practically no cultural operations are necessary. If black fly appear, pinch off and burn all affected tops. The first symptom of the infestation will be seen in the sooty appearance of the tips of the plants. As in the case of all the beans, the supply is often checked by failing to gather the pro- duce directly it is fit for use. No pods should be permitted to perfectly mature. Early sew- ings of cabbages can be made in pans or boxes in a warm frame. As soon as the seedlings are large enough, prick them out into another frame in light, good soil, and admit plenty of sir. When they begin to touch one another, plant them out, each with as large a ball of earth as possible attached to the roots, into rich ground. Such kinds as Express, Early Etampes, &c., are much to be desired for this sowing. Ff, den off frame lettuces, and plant them out wards the end of the month. Start a few se s in gentle heat, grow large enough to hant prick them out into frames of rich soil, t d finally plant them some six inches apart in the open. Every alternate plant can then be drawn for use, the remainder being left to mature at 12 inches distance apart. Perhaps the most im- portant sowing of the month is that of parsnip. Deep trenching or digging is the necessity for producing a good and profitable crop. Sow the seeds in shallow drills 15 or IS asunder, placing about three or four seeds every six inches along the rows. Hoe out weeds unremittingly from the time the young plants are visible, and thin out until the plants stand from 10 to 12 inches apart. Early peas should be sown freely now, provided that the soil be fairly dry. Personally, we prefer to grow them in rows sufficiently far apart to admit of early potatoes being raised between them. Two rows of potatoes to every one of peas is a good plan, as the latter serve to protect the young shaws when they appear above ground. Directly the young peas appear, dust them over lightly with soot, as a protec- tion from slugs; and when they are three inches high, support them with brushwood, which will serve as a protection both from wind and ex- cessive cold. Make extensive sowings of spi- nach, the round-seeded kind being preferable, in drills a foot apart, covering the seed one inch deep. February sowings should be in fairly dry ground. The only point ef great im- portance in the after-culture is early thinning out of the plants to avoid overcrowding. The first thinning should leave them six inches apart, and later on every other plant may be drawn for use. If too much be grown, it is a very simple matter to dig the surplus in as manure; and it will prove a profitable invest- ment even if this has to be done. Choose a sheltered border, well exposed to the sun, and make a sowing of some quick-growing white turnip at once. If very severe weather follow, the seedlings must be carefully protected. It is quite time that shallots were planted in fairly good ground. The old method was to plant them on the shortest, and raise them on the longest day. Place them in the ground just deeply enough to keep them firmly in place. Rhubarb can be raised and divided now, but each planting root must have at least one good eye or crown. Deep and rich soils, well dressed with decay ed manure, are best for the crop; and the roots should be planted quite three feet apart, the eye or crown being covered two inches deep only. Do not pull from the planta- tion until the second season. Early radishes are generally more prized than those which are fit for use when many vegetables are procur- able Sewings may be made on spent hot-beds, in old frames or even in the open ground, pro- vided some protecting litter be prepared. A single check spoils the flavour of the crop, and renders the fiesh hot and rough. Just a very small quantity of potatoes may be planted un- der a warm wall, to supply the earliest dishes. Mix as much wood ashes as possible with the soil, or lay them under the sets in the drills. irlenty of mustard and cress may be obtained with the aid of a frame, and just at this time of year such salading materials are peculiarly valuable, owing to the fact that we generally eat more meat in cold than in warm weather. Sow cauliflower seeds in pans or boxes in frame on a gentle hot-bed, and prick out the seedlings very early into a rich light bed, sheltered with a frame. When large and strong enough, the plants can be put out into rich land, it being practically impossible to over-feed the crop. Broccoli seeds can also be sown now both in frames and on a warm, sheltered, south border. Towards the end of the month sow a little parsley in rich, well tilled land, in lines of a foot apart. Thin out the young plants to three, and eventually to six inches apart, a few of the strongest of the thinnings being planted nine inches asunder in kindly loam. Like shallots, garlic ought to be planted with as httle delay as possible. Place the cloves or divisions two inches deep and nine inches apart. The first sowing of tomato seed must be made in sandy loam in pots or pans in a temperature of from 60 to 65 degress. Some good fibrous loam should be prepared for the plants, which must be potted directly they are large enough to handle. E. KEMP TOOGOOD, F.R.H.S., Pro TOOGOOD & SONS, The Royal Seed Establishment, Southampton.