THE HOME GARDEN
As soon as the Spring season crops are fit to handle, thin out all weak and over-crowded seedlings and keep the surface of the soil between the rows well stirred by continued hoeing to conserve moisture, encourage growth and destroy weeds. Continue sowing beans, carrots, parsnips and beet for succession. Tomato, sweet corn and cabbage for late Autumn use should now be planted. Continue spraying potatoes and tomatoes, for at this time of the year blight is very troublesome. Use cuprox at the rate of 2 ½ ounces to three gallons of water.
Cucumbers can now be sown as well as pumpkins, water melons, rock melons and squash. Good dressings of blood and bone should be well worked into the soil before planting, as well as quantities of decayed vegetation incorporated in the soil some time before planting takes place.
Varieties recommended are:—
CUCUMBERS: Green, money-maker, white spine, short prickly, apple cucumber, crystal apple.
ROCK MELONS: Greilly wonder, Hales early.
PUMPKINS: Crown for early harvesting, and triamble for late (a good variety for keeping for Winter and Spring use).
Cucumbers and rock melons should be sown some five or six feet apart, and pumpkins and pie-melons, about ten to twelve feet apart Strawberry plants which were set out last May will need mulching. Give the final topdressing of manure, which should consist of two parts blood and bone to one part of superphosphate, evenly mixed and sprayed at the rate of one ounce to the square yard down the centre of the rows. Mulch with a good dressing of sawdust, pine needles or a good, clean oaten straw free of weeds, and on no account use hay as the resultant growth of grass seed will cause considerable trouble before the crop is harvested. A good plan is to build a frame and cover the strawberry bed with fine wire-netting or fish net, as birds cause considerable damage, and in many instances consume a big proportion of the crops.
At this time of the year, when growth is rampant, clean up all vacant areas in the garden, putting all trash and vegetation into a tidy heap for compost, and use at a later date to increase the humus content of the soil. In the hunt for humus-forming organic matter with which to enrich the soil gardeners seldom think of sawdust. For compost it is better to spread sawdust three to four inches deep on vacant ground, and leave until it is invaded with earthworms. It is then ready for compost, and may be included in the garden compost heap in the proportion of one part sawdust to four parts of other material available.
For the home orchard continue spraying apples for the control of codlin moth with arsenate of lead, at the rate of two ounces to four gallons of water every fourteen days. Continue spraying peach and nectarines with lime and sulphur—one third of a pint to four gallons of water. Passion-fruit and gooseberry bushes should be sprayed at regular intervals with bordeaux mixture for the control of leaf spot. Spraying is an important factor in producing good, clean fruit, and careful attention to detail at spraying time will repay the time spent on this essential work. Do not spray when the sun is very hot, as the fruit and foliage may be scalded. Do not spray during or just after a shower, or much of the value of the spray may be lost. The application is most effective when the leaves are dry.