TROUBLES AND THEIR CURE
With healthy cultivationshould give little trouble. There are, however, one or two things which may attack them and with which the gardener should be able to deal.
Damping-Off is the most dreaded disease. This is caused by a fungus, and once a patch, or box, is affected the whole crop is wasted. It gains a hold over the plants because of bad ventilation, insufficient light, and overcrowding combined with too much moisture. From these facts it will be seen that prevention is better than cure. The only thing to do with affected plants is to burn them and dress any remainingwith flowers of sulphur. Sterilization of the by watering with four ounces of formaldehyde to a gallon of water before sowing is helpful; also the use of sand in the soil and mixed with seed when sowing.
Mice and Birds are both very fond of seeds. The best way to frustrate them is to soak the seeds overnight in water, and after they have been spread out on paper to dry a little, sprinkle a few drops of paraffin over them. If red lead is then dusted over and the seeds well shaken up so that they are well covered, mice will leave them severely alone. A few break-back traps set amongst the rows of seeds are also a preventive. Grass seed well dusted with disinfectant powder before sowing will not attract birds, and black cotton stretched backwards and forwards from sticks across the seed-bed will also scare them. The birds catch their wings in the cotton, which they cannot see very well, and are frightened away.
Slugs love tender young seedlings, but they can be cured of their tastes by watering the soil on each side of the seed rows or round the patches with a solution of aluminium sulphate. A sprinkling of this, powdered, is also effective.
SELECTING VARIETIES OF SEED TO USE
The best way to choose actual varieties for your own garden is to study a seed catalogue. This is because new varieties are introduced each year, and at very little extra cost you can be thoroughly up-to-date, and have the best. If possible, devote a corner each year to trying new annuals. Do not use them for your main display till you know their ways.