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----! RURAL LIFE. !

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THE CULTURE OF LEEKS.

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I A 13AMY TABLE. I cleansed but also perfeotly salted in the easiest possible manner. When not in use as a butter worker, the fluted roller can be removed and placed between the galvanised iron standards in the bottom stay of the table, and when the tray is reversed and secured, it forms a most con- venient and useful dairy table. The illustration shews how this is done. THE CULTURE OF LEEKS. Leeks may be sown now—that is, if the soil Is dry enough and workable. The rows should be from lOin. to 12in. apart, and transplanting should be done in June or July, the ground on which they have to stand for the winter having been previously prepared. Good rich soil, well cultivated, is neccssary to grow large, fine leeks, and they should be planted deep to secure several inches of white. The true secret of growing leeks, onions, celery, and parsley for com- petition is heat. Sow them in a box in a forc- mg pit or in hot frame early in February, and about eight weeks thereafter thin out the plants to lin. apart, or place them into 3-inch pots, one plant in each pot. Some growers sow at first in pots, putting three or four seeds in the centre, and afterwards removing all the plants that come up, except the strongest one. This is a good plan, as the roots are never disturbed. In any case, the pots should be filled with rotted turf and leaf mould, or woll-cWomjtosed manure, and the plants grown on in heat till about the end of April; then transfer them into a cold FIG I FIG 2, THE CULTIVATION OF LEEKS. frame, and keep it close for tho first three days, except during sunshine, when the higher ends of the sashes ought to be raised one or two inches according to the heat of the sun; shutting the frame about four o'clock so as to husband the heat, and thus a higher temperature will be kept up in it during the night. After the first three pays, the weather being favourable, open the frame half-an-hour earlier every day, and close half-an-hour later; the sashes should at the same time be raised a little higher every day, until they are removed altogether; this may be accomplished in ordinary weather in the course of ten or twelve days, when the plants may be put out into a sheltered place prepared in the following manner: During the last week in April prepare a trench in a good sunny position in the garden. The trench should be about 2ft. deep, and about 18in. wide for a single row of leeks, the length accord- ing to the number of plants to be grown. A sec- tion of such a trench is shewn in the first of the illustrations. The good soil removed in making the trench is piled up on the sides, as it will be required for blanching purposes. Into the bot- tom should be placed good fresh horse manure to the depth of 15in., firmly trodden down. Un top of this (see Fig. 2 in illustration) should be placed 3in. or so of fine old well-rotted manure, and a good dusting of fertilising compound, finishing with 6in. or 8in. of good soil. Into this, in the beginning of May, the leeks must be planted 3in. deep and 12in. apart. By this time there will be a nice gentle heat rising from the horse manure, which will give the plants a good start In planting the young leek, its roots should be kept in the upper soil as shewn in the engraving, as, if placed deeper, they may be in. jured by the heat arising from the horse manure. This, of course, gradually gets loss after the first two weeks, and then the roots speedily find their way downwards. Immediately after planting, a brown paper collar, 6in. doap, should be placed round the plant by slipping it over the top. A few inches of soil should be drawn around it, exactly as shewn in Fig. 1. By the middle of July at the latest, the plants ouffht to be fully blanched, aftor which they will make rapid growth in thickness. Frequent waterings with soft water (occasionally liquid manure) is about all the feeding they will require, as the roots go down into the manure in the trench and find suf- ficient food. Considerable difference of opinion exists as to the length of blanch that is best. One grower maintains that a proportionate leek 12in. or 13in. long in the blanch is the best. When the length exceeds that, it is very difficult to get thickness in proportion. Different methods are also adopted to obtain blanch, but none of them have ever equalled the old way of blanching with soil. By all other methods the snowy-whiteness, so characteristic of the soil-blanched "leeks, is to some extent lost. BOTJVARDIAS FROM CUTTINGS. Bouvardias are handsome, compact, bushy plants, and particularly desirable in the green- house and the conservatory on account of their value for winter blooming and their fragrance. They may be propagated by means of cuttings made from young shoots in the spring, or they may be grown from portions of roots taken from old plants shaken out of the pots at the same time of the year. In the latter instance the following is the method of procedure frequently adopted. Five-inch pots or boxes about 3in. in depth should be almost filled with a mixture of soil containing leaf mould and sand in equal quantities, as such a compost will encourage root formation quickly. The thickest roots only should be cut into portions about l!in. in length these pieces of root. should be distributed over the surface of the soil at regular intervals, say lin. apart; after this is done about !in. of soil may be placed over them, and this should be gently pressed down with a square flat piece of wood. a good watering given, and pieces of glass may bo placed over the boxes or pots for a few weeks. In a temperature of 65dcg. these por- tions of roots will soon form buds or eyes, from which growth commences in about a month's tinic.-The Garden Home. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. "MRS. A. P."—Fruit is grown on the old wood of both led and white currants, and on the now of black. The bushes should have been pruned in the autumn, Lut they may be done slightly later on. I should advise you. however, to ask a local gardener to see them first. G. B."—If you will send an offer I will bring it before my inquirier, F. A." W. H. G."—An Airedale terrier is too big to go to ground, and I do not think you can better a wire-haired fox-terrier. "J. C. C."—You can get the sprayer of Daniels Brothers, Norwich, or Carter's, Hol- born, London. All correspondence affecting this column should be addressed to A Son of the Soil," care of tht Editor of this journal..

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