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darkening. If any reader who is in difficulty with reference to his garden, will write direct to the ad- dress given beneath, his queries will be an. swered, free of charge, and by return of post. —EDITOR] Home correspondents omit to add their names, or merely end with initials. In these cases it is obviously impossible to reply.—E.K.T. THE VEGETABLE GARDEN IN FEBRUARY. GENERAL. When the soil is diy, dig all vacant ground and cleanse it of weeds. Continue manuring when the ground is frozen hard enough to bear weight without giving. During open, dry periods, fctencb or dig spare beds, leaving the surface of retentive soils as rough as possible. Many weeds will now be springing up, and it behoves the careful gardener to prevent them from seeding by digging them in after collect- ing them in heaps. FRAMES. If frames are desired on hot-beds for early work it will now be time to collect the manure, which should be uniform in character, that from highly fed horses at livery stables being desir- able as well as obtainable in quantity at almost any time. About half of the whole bulk should be bedding litter or straw. To ferment the manure, it must be piled in long shallow heaps and kept only moderately moist by sprinklings of hot water. The pile should be turned oc- casionally, to break up lumps and promote ger mination by distributing the hot manure from fermenting parts through the mass until the whole is steaming uniformly. Next make it up into a square heap, and allow it to settle down without beating or pres-ing. Place the frames in position, and cover with from six to twelve inches of rich, light soil. In the course of a few days a steady heat, suitable for sowings, will be attained. The manure must be so managed as to extend for some distance beyond the edges of the frame, lest the temperature fall too low Perhaps it is better on the whole to place the manure in a pit from 18 to 36 inches deep, and a foot wider than the width of the frame, before placing the frame over it. An inch or two of any coarse material, or a per- manent wall of stone or brick, will prevent the manure coming into actual contact with the cold earth. Surface with a thin layer of leaf- mould, and then with some five or six inches of light garden loam. When the pit method is practised, the manure must be placed in layers about six inches deep, each being well trodden down. A depth of about two feet of manure will generally last for two months, but the duration is naturally dependent on the severity of the weather. Permanent hot-bed pits must have drainage underneath, and be cleared out yearly in autumn. Protective coverings, such as mattings, old carpets, straw mats, etc., must lie provided for hot-bed frames on every cold night, and even through the day when the weather is severe. BROAD BEANS. Sow for early and main cropS in double rows three feet apart, making the two lines of each double row nine inches asunder, and placing the beans three inches deep to come alternately seven inches apart in the lines. Thin out autumn sown crops now, moving the thinnings, with good balls of earth, into double rows three feet apart in rich, light, and warm soil. BROCCOLI. Sow a little seed in a frame, covering with -inch of fine soil. Do not let the seedlings be- come drawn before transplanting them. CABBAGES. Since crops are welcome at all seasons, sow now in a cold frame, and prick out the seed- lings later into other frames. If plantations are crowded, it is advisable to pull every alter nate plant for use. CAULIFLOWERS. For successional purposes make another sow- ing under glass on a gentle hot-bed or under a frame in a sunny corner, covering the seed half- inch deep. Keep free from weeds, and prick out the plants from the earliest sowings into another frame, or under hand-lights, as soon as they are large enough to handle. CORNSALAD. This wholesome and pleasing spring salading is not nearly so much grown as it deserves. Sow in drills six or nine inches apart and one- third of an inch deep, and thin out the plants early to six inches apart in the rows. COUVE TRONCHUDA. Very few people appear to know this vege- table, the mid ribs of which are most delicious when cooked like sea-kale. GARLIC. Garlic bulbs should be planted more deeply than shallots, each being placed between two and three inches from the surface. LETTUCES. Make successional sowings in a frame and on warm borders. Harden off carefully any seed- lings large enough, and plant them out in light, rich soil, six inches apart. A little later draw every alternate plant for use, leaving the re tnainder to mature a foot asunder. MUSTARD AND CRESS. Successive small sowings will yield most ac- ceptable salading material, without costing Tauch trouble. PARSLEY. Sow towards the end of the month in rich, deep soils in shallow drills, a foot asunder. Thin out the seedlings at two or three times to six inches apart, transplanting the thinnings Qine inches asunder into good ground. Gather only two or three leaves from a plant at one time. PARSNIPS. As early as possible level down the soil into a fine seed-bed, and sow directly weather per- mits in shallow drills from 14 to 18 inches apart, Using an ounce of seed to a row of 100 feet, and cover with about an inch of fine soil. Commence systematic weeding as soon as the plants are visible in the rows, and when the seedlings are about two inches high, thin them out to 6 inches apart. Finally single out the young roots from 10 to 12 inches apart. PEAS. Make sowings of early peas when the weather is nice and dry, using a quart of seed to a row of 60 feet in drills two inches deep, allowing Efficient space between the rows to admit of Sowing early potatoes, cauliflowers, spinach, ce]ery, etc. Dust over the seedlings with a fixture of soot and lime, to protect them from the depredations of slugs, and thin them out to about two inches apart when they are two or three inches hhrh. Shield early outdoor crops from keen winds. Plenty of ai'r must be given to seedlings under glass. Do not neglect the rows by omitting to put sticks in in good time, because the sticks always afford protection to the young plants. EARLY POTATOES. Pack a number of sets on end closely, one 'jyer deep, in shallow boxes, which must be placed near the glass in a cool conservatory, or some other light position, where they will e safe from frost. Select a dry, warm, and good border, and if it be not sheltered by a good border, and if it be not sheltered by a wall, line it out into ridges six inches; high. and about two feet apart. The addition of mellow, thoroughly decayed manure and sand will be oeneficial. During February, sow every third or fourth row with a dwarf, hardy pea, that will serve to protect the young shaws, which must be further guarded by being earthed up "W appear. This process should be u °?Jnued, leaving only the extreme tops visible, hieh r^Se8 are from ten to twelve inches sevoi. i • urin& severe weather cover with inches °f clean litter. About mid-March van.? the best time to plant the sets, flhallowly in the ridges. If frames can be sp ired to put over the young plants, there will be much less risk of injury from frost. RHUBARB. It is a very good time now to make a new plantation. Some gardeners prefer to plant a number of single crowns this year, in order to have a regular supply of four-year-old plants for forcing. The usual method of forming a bed is to place roots firmly, three feet apart, in rows four feet asunder, the tops of the crowns being kept slightly above the surface. Deeply-work- ed, rich soils are to be preferred, but good crops can be secured on well-cultivated clays. An open position, that is at the same time sheltered from cold winds, is essential. Systematically keep down weeds. SEAKALE. Plants intended for the latest crops need not be covered until the shoots push naturally. Re- move the covering material gradually when the crop has been cut. SHALLOTS. Any well-prepared, friable soil answers for this crop, but a deep, rich loam is, of course, to be preferred. Tread the bed down, and plant the bulbs as early as possible, sufficiently deep to keep them firmly in place, eight inches apart in rows twelve inches asunder. It greatly facilitates complete ripening to gently draw away the earth from the clusters as the season advances. SPINACH. Make small and frequent sowings, afterwards thinning out the plants early to six, and finally to twelve, inches apart in the rows. TOMATOES. A first sowing may be made about the middle or end of the month in sandy soil in the green. house. E. KEMP TOOGOOD, F.R.H.S., pro Toogood and Sons, The Royal Seed Establishment, Southampton.


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