THE YEAR IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN

January

Finish all digging as soon as possible.

Protect chicory, celery and endive from frosts.

Begin mushroom culture now. Fresh stable-manure is essential for this crop.

Early potatoes should be set to sprout now. Some can be planted in the cold frame, and in a very warm, sheltered border a few can be planted outdoors.

Sow early-maturing varieties of peas in a sheltered position. As soon as the young plants show, sprinkle lime and soot among them to keep away slugs. Put in twigs at sowing time. They break the wind, and give a shelter to the young plants.

Protect globe artichokes with litter, leaves or soil.

A few broccoli leaves should be bent over the flower-heads for protection.

Plant out cabbages on a sheltered border, if seedlings are available, and mild days occur.

Force asparagus crowns and seakale.

Make up hotbeds.

February

Plant early potatoes.

Seeds sown this month must be protected during the late winter frosts.

Where seeds are sown in the open, cloches or rows of twigs will give protection.

Sow cabbage, early cauliflower, leeks and Brussels sprouts under glass, and broad beans and peas in the open.

Plant shallots now. Press the bulbs half-way into the soil 8 in. apart. A dressing of an ounce of kainit to four square yards can be given to the soil before planting.

Sow tomatoes not later than the end of this month.

Prepare the soil of tomato beds by deep digging and allow it to settle a little before the plants are put in.

Cauliflowers and lettuces in frames should not be coddled.

Onions sown in boxes should be thinned if necessary.

Hotbeds made up last month need daily attention to keep up the heat.

Globe artichokes, vegetable marrows and tomatoes can be sown on them.

Prepare composts for seed-sowing.

March

Sow broad beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts in lines or boxes for transplanting later.

Sow carrots, leeks, parsnips, kohl rabi, spinach, swede, garden turnips, marrowfat peas and early potatoes in the open.

Sow mustard and cress, lettuce, radishes and onions for salads, and the tender vegetables—broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, and also tomatoes and alpine strawberries—on a hotbed.

Prepare new beds for globe artichokes.

Watercress can be sown now in moist trenches.

Potatoes can be planted now.

Divide and replant chives.

April

Watch the potato patch for the Colorado Beetle.

Kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, savoys and perpetual spinach are sown now for the winter months.

Protect seeds from birds by stretching black cotton over them.

Globe artichokes can be planted immediately on arrival. Large stocks can be raised from suckers later.

Plant in well-prepared gritty soil with a top dressing of sifted coal ashes after planting to keep away slugs.

Rapid growth is the secret of tender succulent salad crops. Succes-sional sowing at intervals of two or three weeks should be made of lettuce, radishes, mustard and cress, and silver-skinned onions.

Make a herb garden. Herbs need full sunshine to develop a good flavour. Those grown from seed should be sown this month; these include: borage, sorrel, pot marjoram, pot marigolds, thyme, angelica, sage, chervil, summer savory.

Dress asparagus beds with salt.

Prepare ground for Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, lettuces and runner beans.

Dig celery trenches now.

Frost is still a danger. Mats, straw, newspapers, twigs from evergreens, and dry litter are useful protections.

Thin out carrots, onions, parsnips, etc., as necessary, and use the hoe as soon as possible between the rows.

Use black cotton or pea-guards to protect seedlings from birds.

May

Keep a look out still for the Colorado Beetle on potatoes.

Make a further sowing of broad beans if especially desired.

Seedling cabbages raised in boxes in a cold frame are ready for planting out. Heavily-manured ground is best. Hoe frequently during the hot weather.

Asparagus seedlings need to be thinned. Leave the plants 1 ft. apart. Keep the permanent beds free from weeds.

Globe beet sown in the frames should be thinned out to 8 in. apart.

Sow the outdoor main crop of beet. Thin seedlings and hoe between the rows, drawing the soil up against the seedlings to protect them.

Those in especially prepared holes should be reduced to three plants at each station, and finally to one, which should be as near the centre as possible.

Plant out the broccoli seedlings in well-prepared soil; make a further sowing in the frame.

Make a further plantation of Brussels sprouts.

Sow cardoons in trenches prepared as for celery. They need plenty of water.

Earth up potatoes as necessary.

Carrots sown in January and February should be thinned, and the thinnings used in soups and salads. Those sown in the open should be thinned to 8 in. apart.

Sow cauliflowers in a frame, and keep the bed well watered. Give a dusting of soot occasionally.

Plant out seedlings as they are ready. All established plants on the plot should be fed liberally with liquid manure and mulched with long stable Utter.

Transplant celery.

Sow lettuce for succession. Thin out the seedlings and use them for planting between tall crops.

Sow peas during this month for use in late summer.

Make frequent sowings of turnips, and cover them with grass clippings to discourage the turnip fly.

Sow seeds of ornamental gourds and pumpkins outdoors.

June

Sow first early peas, ie. varieties which mature rapidly. They will be harvested when the earlier sown peas are over.

Cut no more asparagus after the middle of this month.

Plant out celery. Celery is a marsh plant and needs manure in the soil to retain water.

Radishes and lettuces can be planted between the celery trenches.

Plant out tomatoes against a south wall or fence.

Plant out ridge-cucumbers on a sunny bank.

Plant vegetable marrows; they are useful smother plants for untidy corners.

Plant Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflowers, kale and savo3^s between rows of early peas, or in their place when the crop has been gathered.

Plant celeriac; this is an excellent crop on soils where cultivation of celery is difficult.

Dress seakale with salt and shallots with nitrate of soda.

Vegetable marrows planted last month should be “ stopped.” Sow turnips in shallow drills 1 ft. apart. A shady bed is desirable.

Sow seeds of endive now, on a firm bed of good rich soil.

Break a leaf over each cauliflower head to shade it.

Potatoes may still be earthed up.

Stake runner beans.

Onions should be fed with nitrate of soda.

July

Hoe regularly between all crops.

Sow spring cabbage, carrots and beet in drills in. apart.

Plant out Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale and sprouting broccoli in showery weather.

Use liquid manure on rhubarb and seakale.

Plant leeks.

Shallots can be harvested this month.

Lift early potatoes as the tops turn yellow.

Spray late potatoes with Bordeaux Mixture. Do this twice during the month.

Sow parsley for winter use.

Sow early-maturing varieties of peas in light rich soil.

After the crops have been gathered, all cabbage stalks, bean stalks and pea haulms should be burnt.

Cut heads of globe artichokes when less than three parts open.

Cut mint, sage, thyme and marjoram for drying.

Pinch out the tops of outdoor tomatoes.

Give plenty of tepid water to marrows.

Dust soot and lime along the celery rows to keep off both the celery fly and slugs. Celery and leeks should be earthed up gradually.

Mulch vegetable marrows with cow manure, short litter, grass clippings or leaves.

Bend a leaf over the heads of cauliflowers that are nearly ready for use.

Spray French and runner beans with tepid water in dry weather.

August

Earth up celery and leeks.

Plant out seedlings of broccoli, savoys and endive, or sow seeds of cabbage, stump-rooted carrots, lettuce, onions, spinach and turnips to follow the early crops.

Herbs can be dried and stored for winter use.

Water peas in dry weather and mulch them with manure.

Pinch out side-shoots from outdoor tomatoes; thin the lower leaves; remove any that are turning yellow.

Spray potatoes with Bordeaux Mixture.

Green manure light soil by sowing mustard seed thinly over the soil, after early crops have been lifted. When you are ready to dig the plot in winter it will be turned into the ground. It is a good substitute for stable manure on light soil but should be supplemented with artificials.

Keep the hoe going whenever the weather is dry.

September

Potatoes should be lifted when the haulms decay. Store carefully in clamps or in boxes in a shed.

Hoe frequently.

As crops are gathered burn rubbish, or dig it immediately into the soil to decay.

Bend over the necks of onions.

Dust Brussels sprouts with soot.

Dress nitrate of soda between broccoli plants and stir the soil with a hoe Plant spring cabbages on land previously occupied by onions.

Protect the heads of cauliflowers by breaking a leaf over each.

Sow lettuce to plant out in spring. Tie up heads fit for blanching, and plant out seedlings.

Cut down the tops of old mint. Give a light dressing of manure.

Sow radishes, spinach, turnips, mustard and cress.

Keep leeks well watered.

Lift beet and carrots and store them in sand.

Earth up celery.

October

Lift rhubarb crowns and force them under the greenhouse stages.

Earth up celery and leeks.

Corn salad and early peas, radishes and spinach, may still be sown.

Lift and store horse radish.

When the fruits on outdoor tomatoes are ripe take the plants up and burn them.

Lift and store all roots except parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes.

Beet should have the leaves twisted—not cut—off.

Store carrots in sand, potatoes in clamps or in sacks under cover.

Some litter over the parsnip bed makes it possible to lift roots even if the ground becomes frosted.

Top-dress asparagus with 6 in. of well-rotted manure.

Plant out cabbage seedlings. Draw a little soil up round the stems to protect them.

Gather unripe tomatoes and bring them indoors.

Lift a few roots of mint, and grow under glass for winter.

Lift endive and plant it in a cold frame. Blanch as required, by placing a mat over the glass or by inverting a pot over each plant.

Lettuces should be treated in the same way as endive, except that they should not be blanched.

Prick out parsley seedlings in rows 6 in. apart, in the cold frame if a winter supply is wanted.

November

Finish earthing up celery and leeks.

Collect all fallen leaves. These are useful for hotbeds.

Dig all the ground possible during dry weather; leave the surface rough.

Cut down the stems of globe artichokes. Remove decaying leaves and protect the crowns from frosts with stable litter. Take off suckers from the old crowns and plant them in pots.

Cut down asparagus and give mulch of short stable manure over the bed.

In soil that is light and warm (or in pots under glass) a few broad beans may be sown. Sow in drills 3-4 in. deep, allowing 2 or 3 ft. between the rows.

Early peas can be sown this month in warm soil. “Peter Pan” is a good variety for the purpose. Do not sow in the open in cold soils until early spring.

Heel over broccoli to the north, and cover the stems with soil.

Lift cauliflowers and heel them into cold frames, or in some place well protected from frosts. The leaves should be tied loosely together over the crowns.

Lift chicory roots and plant them in boxes of soil in the greenhouse or shed. Keep them dark, and they will provide young white shoots for salads.

Whenever possible air the cold frame where lettuce is grown.

Blanch endive in successive batches.

Seed potatoes should be examined and any diseased tubers burnt. If left, the disease spreads.

Horse radish may be planted this month if the weather is suitable.

Plan next year’s vegetable plot. This is very important, especially if intensive culture is practised.

Dig, trench and dress the plot with soil fumigant as desirable.

Cover rhubarb and seakale with light litter.

December

Blanch endive and seakale by covering with pots and adding light litter.

Cabbage, broad bean seedlings, etc., may be lifted out of the ground by frost. Press the soil back round the seedlings.

Trench celery beds when the early crop is finished.

Set a few potato tubers in shallow boxes this month, and plant them in the cold frame in the New Year.

Clean up herb gardens.

Examine potatoes, carrots, beet and onions in store, and burn any that have begun to decay.

Sharpen peasticks, sort over all stores, oil tools, clean and paint tool-sheds, and prepare for the New Year in the vegetable garden.

30. August 2013 by admin
Categories: Kitchen Gardens, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on THE YEAR IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN

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