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Hot-beds And Frames

Source: The Book Of Sports
Category: GARDENING.

Before we can sow many kinds of seeds in this country in the open
ground, it is necessary to raise them first in a hot-bed, and for this
reason,--many flowers common in our gardens are not natives of our cold
and variable climate, but of one much warmer; and if we delay to sow the
seed of such plants and flowers till the warm days of summer are fully
set in, the plant has scarcely time to grow into perfection before the
chills of autumn come on, and they perish before their blossoms, fruit,
or seeds come to perfection. But this may be obviated by means of a
frame and hot-bed, which every young gardener ought to have, however
small it may be. One of the simplest is the common garden or cucumber
frame, which may be bought for a few shillings. This, if about a yard
square, should be set upon a low framework of bricks, within which a pit
is dug, and filled with good manure over which some fine mould is
placed, to the depth of about six inches. Upon this mould the more
delicate kinds of flower-seeds may be sown at an early period of the
year,--varieties of all those found in the gardening books under the
head of tender annuals,--balsams, French marigolds, tobacco, stocks,
marigolds, gourds, and sun-flowers. The seed must be sown
carefully,--not too thick, and occasionally looked at. In mild, open
weather, the glass should be raised a little, but in cold weather kept
down. The giving of water should be managed with care, and the plants as
they appear should not be suffered to grow too rapidly, but be kept
under, or they will not bear to be transplanted when the time comes for
doing so.

In transplanting, care should always be taken not to transplant too
early, or in improper weather; for if the weather happens to be cold or
wet, the tender plants will suffer very much, and probably fail. This
would be the case, not only with flowers, but with all the tender kinds
of plants, such as cauliflowers, and, therefore, the young gardener must
keep his "weather eye" open, as the sailors say, and not be too much in
a hurry, as young gardeners generally are.

Next: Open Crops

Previous: Planting And Sowing

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