THE HOME GARDEN
Good cultivation is essential for success in vegetable production; weeds should not be permitted to seed, or compete with the growing crops.
At this time of the year, onion transplants will be set out, allowing about 18 inches between the rows, and 3 to 4 inches between plants. Bonedust, superphosphate and a little potash is a suitable manure, sown two or three weeks before planting. After heavy rains stir the surface of the soil between plants with a push hoe, being careful not to disturb the new roots which will be forming. Cultivation should continue right through till harvesting takes place during next January. Onions are one of the few crops that can be grown successfully on the same ground for several years in succession.
In the home garden potatoes for early planting should first be set to sprout in a light, frost free airy position. Well-sprouted tubers can be planted shallowly in a warm position, but must be earthed up after the shoots appear, and continued earthing-up must be done while danger of frosts is present. Early varieties are: Epicure, Robin Adair, Cliffs Kidney and Arran Banner. Main crops for late planting include, Arran Chief, Iron Duke, Inverness Favourite, Dakota and Auckland Tall Top.
Plantings of cabbage can now be made, preferably on ridges, especially if the soil is inclined to be cold and hold excessive moisture. Plants should be set out 24 inches between the rows, and about 18 inches apart in the rows. About two weeks before planting the area should be given a good dressing of a complete garden manure well worked into the soil. Varieties suitable for planting are: Enfield Market, Earlibald and Golden Acre.
As plantings at this time of the year are risky, and only warm, sheltered districts are favourable, it is advisable for those people whose homes are in colder and frosty areas to wait for a month or so before attempting to plant. The time can be profitably spent in preparing the land; for instance, deep digging of the garden can be done when weather permits. If a cover crop has been sown during the autumn, now is the time to dig under. A good plan is to scythe the area first, and allow to wilt for several days before incorporating with the soil. This work should be done several-weeks before planting takes place, especially for seedlings, as the decomposing of the cover crop causes gases to form which are not beneficial to the plants.
With the home orchard, pruning will be the chief work for the month, but an endeavour should be made to get the work done as soon as possible. Be sure to remove branches that cross or crowd others; whatever type of fruit tree, it should present an open appearance when bare of leaves. Crowded trees are very difficult to spray, and winter spraying is most important if curly leaf and other fungoid diseases are to be prevented from infecting the trees later in the spring.
TREE AND SHRUB PLANTING:
Fruit tree and shrub planting should be completed as soon as possible, as in the warmer districts it will not be long before the sap will begin to rise, and early varieties will be once again blossoming. Choose dry weather for this job. Plant shallow, not more than one inch deeper than the tree was before in its nursery row. Dig the land first, then dig the hole, not too deep so as to disturb too much subsoil, as often, especially in heavy clay soils, water will lie and become a menace to young roots. Spread the roots very carefully out, evenly around the tree; cover with well crumbled earth, firming well, and then secure with a good stake.
PREPARATION OF SPRAYS:
Bordeax Mixture.—To make: 4 gals powdered bluestone may be dissolved readily in 2 pints of hot water in an earthenware or wooden vessel. Bluestone crystals may be tied in sacking, and suspended just touching the hot water. Mix the hydrated lime to a thin paste with 2 pints of water. When bluestone is dissolved, add 3/2 gals of water, and then thoroughly mix the 2 pints of hydrated lime with the bluestone solution, stirring rapidly for a few minutes.
Containers for spraying and mixing sprays should be of copper, brass, wood or earthenware. Bordeaux must be used within 8 hours after mixing.
All quantities given in the spray programme below are for 4 gallons of spray.
|Time of Application||Treatment||Pest of Disease|
|Early green tip (September)||Bordeaux Mixture: Bluestone 6ozs, Hydrated Lime 5ozs, Water 4 gals.||Blackspot|
|Open cluster to pink||Lime Sulphur 1/3 pint, Water 4 gals.||Black Spot Powdery Mildew|
|Petal Fall Thereafter, every 18 to 21 days, until picking commences||Arsenate of Lead 1ozs, Hydrated Lime 3ozs, Water 4 gals.||Codlin Moth|
|Blossom, bud movements usually early to mid-August for most varieties. (Important: This is the only spray for control of leaf curl. Buds must be swelling prior to breaking.)||Bordeaux Mixture: Bluestone 6ozs, Hydrated Lime 5ozs, Water 4 gals.||Leaf Curl Shot-hole Fungus Bladder Plum|
|Late pink, petal fall Repeat every 3 or 4 weeks, until two weeks before picking||Lime Sulphur 1/3 pint, Water 4 gals.||Brown Rot Leaf Rust|