Saturday, December 22, 2007

Bonsai Selections

How to select your herbs

Did you know you could purchase particular herbs and train them as bonsai? It’s true and all you need is some training, skill, and a few details to get started. You can purchase specimens in the 4-inch miniature range to create, and grow a sizeable leaf tree. The tree if trained correctly will grow up to 3-feet.

Growers have created rosemary and oregano herbs to create bonsai trees. The herbs prized for growing bonsai include tender perennials-shrubs, annual herbs, resilient perennial, and the semi-hardy perennial. The groups however should be separated, as well as the group of thymes, scented geraniums. See the group of Pelargonium to learn more about each group of geraniums.

If you are new to growing herbs as bonsai, you may want to start with the rosemary specimens. The rosemary is an aromatic evergreen tree, or shrub that derives from Southern European regions. The shrugs come from the family of mint. Rosemary is grown for the scents emerging from its gray to green needle-shaped leaves. Rosemary is also used as flavoring to enhance meals, or fragrances to make perfume. Rosemary has a wood shrub, which is easier to maintain.

Rosemary is similar to pine trees. In addition to Rosemary, the lemon verbena, as well as the sweet bay, or commonly known as laurel trees are ideal for first time growers. The trees grow up to 40-feet however, i.e. in nature. Laurel is a tree that produces leaves, aroma, and berries that are similar to the laurel shrubs. The cherry and mountain laurel is an example of the family of laurel. The wreath of the leaves may be responsible or cultivated in foreign lands for its mark of honor in ancient history.

The lemon verbena is a scented ornamental tree, which is cultivated throughout South America. The tree has minute size lavender flowers, which grow from lance-shape leaves and produces a lemony scent when compressed. The lemon verbena comes from the Latin name Lippia triphylla.

Sweet bay is a North America Magnolia tree, which is a miniature magnolia bush. The tree comes from the Easter United States as well, and often has a huge scented white flower with yellow to green leaves and red colored fruits. The tree is known as the Magnolia Virginia family of plants as well.

Additional herbs that are trained as bonsai is the willows, black berry, junipers, oaks, barberries, citrus, hawthorns, calamondin orange, etc. Willows have elongated branches that flex. The branches grow narrow leaves, which its catkins contain minute size flowers that do not have petals. Willow wood is made from this tree, which is the gamily of Genus and called Salix.

Juniper is a common bonsai plant, which has many variants. The Junipers are evergreen plants that bear cones that bear a resemblance to berries. The tree has minute size purplish cones, which yield oils and is often used to flavor gin. The Genus group is also known as Juniperus.

Assuming you is familiar with the black berry bush, oak, and citrus we can move onto the hawthorns. The hawthorn is a thorny tree that has minute size fruits with red tone. The tree is a member of the rose family and grows a collection of pink or white flowers. Crataegus is its Genus name, which this herb is also known as Haw.

Barberries are a shrub that grows red berries. The thorny flowering tree is cultivated in Asia and is grown widely at hedge plants or in gardens. You can also find the group that produces yellow flowers and a selection of red or orange berries. Its Genus name is Berberis.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Bonsai Perennial Tender Shrubs

How to choose tender herbs

Bonsai fascinators purchase herbs and train them as bonsai. The herbs include rosemary, laurel, sweet bay, willows, barberries, oaks, citrus, junipers, black berry, hawthorns, calamondin orange, etc. The herbs are actually listed in bonsai categories, yet because the herbs are prescribed in medicinal usage; it is often referred to as herbs.

Blackberry herbs grow as thorny bushes and have small, purplish fruits. The plants derived from European bushes of the rose family. Blackberry has pink and/or white flowers. The Latin name is Rubus Fruticosus.

Oak trees bear acorn and may have lobed leaves. The deciduous trees have evergreen colors, which the leaves have several round, or piercing projections. The Genus, Quercus oak plants grown in Jerusalem have lobed leaves. Oak is a valuable wood also.

Junipers are sold widely as bonsai, however, many people think of the Juniper as herbs, or scents.

Among the citrus family is the Calamondin orange. The shrub is a miniature tree, which its citrus scents derived from the Philippine Islands. Calamondin is a hybrid citrus, which got its name from the Latin, Citrofortunella mitis. Calamondin is one of the better herbs to train as bonsai. Many growers enjoy this herb for its similarity to the mandarin orange. The mandarin is also known as the Citrus reticulata.

The small fruits that grow from the calamondin tree will withstand, although it becomes weighty. The fruits make great preserves or ideal for flavoring meals. The calamondin is also similar to the Nagami kumquat. This Fortunella margarita tree grows miniature fruits. The tree has an awesome scent, i.e. citrus scent as that of the calamondin. This tree is also tasty in dishes, or can be used as preserves.

Olea europaea or the olive trees make great bonsai trees. The olive trees have green and/or black fruits, which are oval-shaped and bitter to the taste. The fruits have pits. When ripe the fruits are black. Olive trees are grown for its olive oil also. Throughout the Mediterranean regions, the olive tree is valued. The tree grows slow. Most growers up bring the olive herbs, training them as bonsai dwarfs. The ornamental trees grown in homes do not produce fruits, yet you can find herbs that grow bonsai olive trees.

Pomegranate is the family of Punica granatum. The plant is used in medicine and food. Pomegranate trees produce round-red fruits the size of an orange. The rinds are tough and enclose several chambers, which fill a selection of seeds that surround tart, juicy red pulp. The Asian species is the tropical breed that comes from Asia. Other types of Pomegranate exist as well. Pomegranate may have variable foliages and a selection of colored flowers. You should keep the room temperature at 65 degrees when training this bonsai. During winter months, the Pomegranate will start to shred its leaves.

The dwarf Pomegranate is ideal for beginners. Dwarfs grow yellow fall leaves and change to red during its growth cycle. Dwarfs also grow flowers and miniature fruits.

Dwarf Sweet Myrtle is another of the bonsai trees grown from herbs. Myrtle is known as Myrtus communis compacta as well. The plant represents ancient rituals and heroes, which Myrtle has miniature shrubs. The scented dark green leaves were once used as an herb scattered over large areas of the body for healing. The sweet odors have produced potpourri, fragrances, bathwater scents, and more. Myrtle trees are available in a variety of shades, colors, scents, etc, including the starry white flowered plant. Experts recommend planting Myrtle in groves. In groves, the Myrtle rather resembles a miniature orchard.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bonsai Japanese White Pine

How to care for Pinus Parviflora and Pentaphylla

The Japanese White Pine requires careful attention to maintain its health and train it as a bonsai. When you consider White Pine, you must learn cleaning techniques, growth, re-potting, soil, pruning, wiring, water, spray, feeding, etc. In addition, you want to consider peat, pests, disease, and more. Now, we cannot go into extensive details, however I can provide you a few helpful tips to get you started in growing Japanese White Pines as bonsai.

How to clean:
Cleaning the plants is easy. Use your “thumb and index finger” to pluck the aged pine needles. The pine needles often turn yellowish during the fall. Next, prune the internal undergrowth or foliage and get rid of any decaying and/or injured sections. As well, get rid of any debris or decaying elements from the soil. Finally, you have cleaned your Japanese White Pine; however, you will need to move ahead. Remember the growth of the Japanese Whites is a slow process.

You want to clean the plants as needed, water, and provide nourishment for your White Pines as recommended. Wait five years before you re-pot the plants. You can re-pot the plants in a larger pot, which has a deep bottom. You want to treat the plants for a few weeks once you re-pot the plants. Early spring around March, you want to prune the roots. Prune around 1/3 length and get rid of the aged roots. You can leave aged soil about the roots so that the plant can re-establish its growth. Avoid cleaning at this stage. After you re-pot the plant, you want to, carefully watch its growth.

How to soil:
Adding the right soil is important when growing the Japanese White Pines. Use ½-soil leaf container to make a shape. (Learn about Mould) Next, add fertile workable soil, or 1/3 loam. The fertile soil is easy-working soil that consists of mixture of clay, sand, silt, and many times organic matters. Add some course sand, at least 1/3 and provide a drainage hole.

How to prune:
Pruning is best handled in April, yet you should prune back the candles as needed. The candle(s) should be pruned back about 2/3 before the candles open. Use your index finger and thumb. If the plant grows thick crowns, you will need to remove at least one bud. There should be around three buds per growth, which you will only remove one per growth of the three. You can leave the buds alone if you want a thicker plant. In October, you will need to prune the branches. You do not want to cut the needles, rather cut 1/3 of the branch. You can pinch the buds back for a few weeks to balance the needles.

How to water:
If you plant the bonsai with stones at the base, water your plant sparingly. The Japanese White Pines require less water than common plants; therefore sparingly water your plants as recommended.

How to spray:
During the summer, you want to spray the undergrowth, or foliage.

How to fertilize:
Fertilizer is a feeder, which the Japanese White Pines require feeding during spring months and fall. Use slow-processing natural fertilizer sparingly about once a month during July and August to feed your plant. At the end of fall amplify the amount of fertilizer and add moderate amount of chemical radicals, or nitrate. Read the instructions on feeding so that you know which nitrate to add, since you have the option of potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, and sodium nitrate. If the tree is sick, or recently has been re-potted, do not add fertilizer.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How To Choose Bonsai Herb

Laurus Nobilis or the sweet bay laurel is an aromatic tree with evergreen shrubs. In nature, the tree grows up to 40-feet tall in warm areas. When the tree is potted however, it only grows a few feet at a slow pace. Sweet bay laurel is one of the difficult species to reproduce organisms. When the plant is grown in gardens, you will need to cut and seed frequently to entice the plant to root, or propagate. The roots and seed are difficult to grow at the start.

If you purchase the sweet bay, choose the smaller plants that are designed to grow in gardens, or outdoors. The plant in suitable growing conditions will flourish. However, as the plant starts to develop suckers you will need to remove them. Otherwise, the bonsai will loose its shape. During the winter months, you want to bring the plant indoors. Use brilliant lights, and situate the plant near the south window.

The sweet bay is a long-lasting bonsai, yet it is not idea for beginners. If you are a new grower, you may want to view the list of rosemary herbs instead. The rosemary is the Rosmarinus Officinalis group, which the herbs are easiest to grow. You can keep this plant indoors, since it can handle humidity. Rosemary bonsai is similar to pine. The plant will endure indoors or out. The rosemary group has a selection of colors and styles. Rosemary grows scented flowers, which are pink, light to dark blue, and/or white. Rosemary adds variety, and the plant type has a wide array of foliages.

Like the sweet bay however, rosemary is difficult to start growth. Rosemary requires a degree of cutting in order to propagate. You should trim the plant during growing season, i.e. around summer. During the winter months, rosemary can tolerate cooler weather, yet you should place the plants near the south, west, or east area of your home, near a window. Rosemary includes the pine fragrance. Experts recommend that all rosemary plants have limited peat added to the soil, especially in pots. If you use less peat or sand, it will assist in keeping rosemary from drying out or having too much moisture, the required care for the rosemary plant.

Santa Barbara rosemary’s are attractive bonsai. If you plant the Santa Barbara in your garden, make sure that you surround it with debris, or objects such as timber, flat rocks, etc. The plants can benefit from the shield. If you fail to provide the shield, the Santa Barbara bonsai has a tendency to grow outside of its boundary. Prostrate rosemary is another herb trained as the bonsai. The creeping rosemary is the same as prostrate, only known as creeping in different areas. Each member of this herb named is a cascade-style so to speak. Rosemary plants require warmer environments, drier surroundings, and ventilation to prevent mildew.

How to train:
When you train, cascades follow the instructions provided to you. Few cascades are best off if you plant them at the edge of an elevated bed. The bed should trail to the other side of the bed. Rosemary is also grown for adding flavors to meals or making perfumes. Again, if you are a beginner, the rosemary herbs are the plant of choice. In fact, rosemary is a beautiful plant that you will enjoy for years to come.

Rosemary, cascades, Santa Barbara, etc, are of the tender perennial group. If you starting out, we recommend that you learn more about the plants, including training, caring, types, styles, classes, etc, to help you grow your plants effectively.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wild Flower Garden

A wild-flower garden has a most attractive sound. One thinks of long tramps in the woods, collecting material, and then of the fun in fixing up a real for sure wild garden.

Many people say they have no luck at all with such a garden. It is not a question of luck, but a question of understanding, for wild flowers are like people and each has its personality. What a plant has been accustomed to in Nature it desires always. In fact, when removed from its own sort of living conditions, it sickens and dies. That is enough to tell us that we should copy Nature herself. Suppose you are hunting wild flowers. As you choose certain flowers from the woods, notice the soil they are in, the place, conditions, the surroundings, and the neighbours.

Suppose you find dog-tooth violets and wind-flowers growing near together. Then place them so in your own new garden. Suppose you find a certain violet enjoying an open situation; then it should always have the same. You see the point, do you not? If you wish wild flowers to grow in a tame garden make them feel at home. Cheat them into almost believing that they are still in their native haunts.

Wild flowers ought to be transplanted after blossoming time is over. Take a trowel and a basket into the woods with you. As you take up a few, a columbine, or a hepatica, be sure to take with the roots some of the plant's own soil, which must be packed about it when replanted.

The bed into which these plants are to go should be prepared carefully before this trip of yours. Surely you do not wish to bring those plants back to wait over a day or night before planting. They should go into new quarters at once. The bed needs soil from the woods, deep and rich and full of leaf mold. The under drainage system should be excellent. Then plants are not to go into water-logged ground. Some people think that all wood plants should have a soil saturated with water. But the woods themselves are not water-logged. It may be that you will need to dig your garden up very deeply and put some stone in the bottom. Over this the top soil should go. And on top, where the top soil once was, put a new layer of the rich soil you brought from the woods.

Before planting water the soil well. Then as you make places for the plants put into each hole some of the soil which belongs to the plant which is to be put there.

I think it would be a rather nice plan to have a wild-flower garden giving a succession of bloom from early spring to late fall; so let us start off with March, the hepatica, spring beauty and saxifrage. Then comes April bearing in its arms the beautiful columbine, the tiny bluets and wild geranium. For May there are the dog-tooth violet and the wood anemone, false Solomon's seal, Jack-in-the-pulpit, wake robin, bloodroot and violets. June will give the bellflower, mullein, bee balm and foxglove. I would choose the gay butterfly weed for July. Let turtle head, aster, Joe Pye weed, and Queen Anne's lace make the rest of the season brilliant until frost.

Let us have a bit about the likes and dislikes of these plants. After you are once started you'll keep on adding to this wild-flower list.

There is no one who doesn't love the hepatica. Before the spring has really decided to come, this little flower pokes its head up and puts all else to shame. Tucked under a covering of dry leaves the blossoms wait for a ray of warm sunshine to bring them out. These embryo flowers are further protected by a fuzzy covering. This reminds one of a similar protective covering which new fern leaves have. In the spring a hepatica plant wastes no time on getting a new suit of leaves. It makes its old ones do until the blossom has had its day. Then the new leaves, started to be sure before this, have a chance. These delayed, are ready to help out next season. You will find hepaticas growing in clusters, sort of family groups. They are likely to be found in rather open places in the woods. The soil is found to be rich and loose. So these should go only in partly shaded places and under good soil conditions. If planted with other woods specimens give them the benefit of a rather exposed position, that they may catch the early spring sunshine. I should cover hepaticas over with a light litter of leaves in the fall. During the last days of February, unless the weather is extreme take this leaf covering away. You'll find the hepatica blossoms all ready to poke up their heads.

The spring beauty hardly allows the hepatica to get ahead of her. With a white flower which has dainty tracings of pink, a thin, wiry stem, and narrow, grass-like leaves, this spring flower cannot be mistaken. You will find spring beauties growing in great patches in rather open places. Plant a number of the roots and allow the sun good opportunity to get at them. For this plant loves the sun.

The other March flower mentioned is the saxifrage. This belongs in quite a different sort of environment. It is a plant which grows in dry and rocky places. Often one will find it in chinks of rock. There is an old tale to the effect that the saxifrage roots twine about rocks and work their way into them so that the rock itself splits. Anyway, it is a rock garden plant. I have found it in dry, sandy places right on the borders of a big rock. It has white flower clusters borne on hairy stems.

The columbine is another plant that is quite likely to be found in rocky places. Standing below a ledge and looking up, one sees nestled here and there in rocky crevices one plant or more of columbine. The nodding red heads bob on wiry, slender stems. The roots do not strike deeply into the soil; in fact, often the soil hardly covers them. Now, just because the columbine has little soil, it does not signify that it is indifferent to the soil conditions. For it always has lived, and always should live, under good drainage conditions. I wonder if it has struck you, how really hygienic plants are? Plenty of fresh air, proper drainage, and good food are fundamentals with plants.

It is evident from study of these plants how easy it is to find out what plants like. After studying their feelings, then do not make the mistake of huddling them all together under poor drainage conditions.

I always have a feeling of personal affection for the bluets. When they come I always feel that now things are beginning to settle down outdoors. They start with rich, lovely, little delicate blue blossoms. As June gets hotter and hotter their colour fades a bit, until at times they look quite worn and white. Some people call them Quaker ladies, others innocence. Under any name they are charming. They grow in colonies, sometimes in sunny fields, sometimes by the road-side. From this we learn that they are more particular about the open sunlight than about the soil.

If you desire a flower to pick and use for bouquets, then the wild geranium is not your flower. It droops very quickly after picking and almost immediately drops its petals. But the purplish flowers are showy, and the leaves, while rather coarse, are deeply cut. This latter effect gives a certain boldness to the plant that is rather attractive. The plant is found in rather moist, partly shaded portions of the woods. I like this plant in the garden. It adds good colour and permanent colour as long as blooming time lasts, since there is no object in picking it.

There are numbers and numbers of wild flowers I might have suggested. These I have mentioned were not given for the purpose of a flower guide, but with just one end in view your understanding of how to study soil conditions for the work of starting a wild-flower garden.

If you fear results, take but one or two flowers and study just what you select. Having mastered, or better, become acquainted with a few, add more another year to your garden. I think you will love your wild garden best of all before you are through with it. It is a real study, you see.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Vegetable Culture

As a rule, we choose to grow bush beans rather than pole beans. I cannot make up my mind whether or not this is from sheer laziness. In a city backyard the tall varieties might perhaps be a problem since it would be difficult to get poles. But these running beans can be trained along old fences and with little urging will run up the stalks of the tallest sunflowers. So that settles the pole question. There is an ornamental side to the bean question. Suppose you plant these tall beans at the extreme rear end of each vegetable row. Make arches with supple tree limbs, binding them over to form the arch. Train the beans over these. When one stands facing the garden, what a beautiful terminus these bean arches make.

Beans like rich, warm, sandy soil. In order to assist the soil be sure to dig deeply, and work it over thoroughly for bean culture. It never does to plant beans before the world has warmed up from its spring chills. There is another advantage in early digging of soil. It brings to the surface eggs and larvae of insects. The birds eager for food will even follow the plough to pick from the soil these choice morsels. A little lime worked in with the soil is helpful in the cultivation of beans.

Bush beans are planted in drills about eighteen inches apart, while the pole-bean rows should be three feet apart. The drills for the bush limas should be further apart than those for the other dwarf beans say three feet. This amount of space gives opportunity for cultivation with the hoe. If the running beans climb too high just pinch off the growing extreme end, and this will hold back the upward growth.

Among bush beans are the dwarf, snap or string beans, the wax beans, the bush limas, one variety of which is known as brittle beans. Among the pole beans are the pole limas, wax and scarlet runner. The scarlet runner is a beauty for decorative effects. The flowers are scarlet and are fine against an old fence. These are quite lovely in the flower garden. Where one wishes a vine, this is good to plant for one gets both a vegetable, bright flowers and a screen from the one plant. When planting beans put the bean in the soil edgewise with the eye down.

Beets like rich, sandy loam, also. Fresh manure worked into the soil is fatal for beets, as it is for many another crop. But we will suppose that nothing is available but fresh manure. Some gardeners say to work this into the soil with great care and thoroughness. But even so, there is danger of a particle of it getting next to a tender beet root. The following can be done; Dig a trench about a foot deep, spread a thin layer of manure in this, cover it with soil, and plant above this. By the time the main root strikes down to the manure layer, there will be little harm done. Beets should not be transplanted. If the rows are one foot apart there is ample space for cultivation. Whenever the weather is really settled, then these seeds may be planted. Young beet tops make fine greens. Greater care should be taken in handling beets than usually is shown. When beets are to be boiled, if the tip of the root and the tops are cut off, the beet bleeds. This means a loss of good material. Pinching off such parts with the fingers and doing this not too closely to the beet itself is the proper method of handling.

There are big coarse members of the beet and cabbage families called the mangel wurzel and ruta baga. About here these are raised to feed to the cattle. They are a great addition to a cow's dinner.

The cabbage family is a large one. There is the cabbage proper, then cauliflower, broccoli or a more hardy cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi, a cabbage-turnip combination.

Cauliflower is a kind of refined, high-toned cabbage relative. It needs a little richer soil than cabbage and cannot stand the frost. A frequent watering with manure water gives it the extra richness and water it really needs. The outer leaves must be bent over, as in the case of the young cabbage, in order to get the white head. The dwarf varieties are rather the best to plant.

Kale is not quite so particular a cousin. It can stand frost. Rich soil is necessary, and early spring planting, because of slow maturing. It may be planted in September for early spring work.

Brussels sprouts are a very popular member of this family. On account of their size many people who do not like to serve poor, common old cabbage will serve these. Brussels sprouts are interesting in their growth. The plant stalk runs skyward. At the top, umbrella like, is a close head of leaves, but this is not what we eat. Shaded by the umbrella and packed all along the stalk are delicious little cabbages or sprouts. Like the rest of the family a rich soil is needed and plenty of water during the growing period. The seed should be planted in May, and the little plants transplanted into rich soil in late July. The rows should be eighteen inches apart, and the plants one foot apart in the rows.

Kohlrabi is a go-between in the families of cabbage and turnip. It is sometimes called the turnip-root cabbage. Just above the ground the stem of this plant swells into a turnip-like vegetable. In the true turnip the swelling is underground, but like the cabbage, kohlrabi forms its edible part above ground. It is easy to grow. Only it should develop rapidly, otherwise the swelling gets woody, and so loses its good quality. Sow out as early as possible; or sow inside in March and transplant to the open. Plant in drills about two feet apart. Set the plants about one foot apart, or thin out to this distance. To plant one hundred feet of drill buy half an ounce of seed. Seed goes a long way, you see. Kohlrabi is served and prepared like turnip. It is a very satisfactory early crop.

Before leaving the cabbage family I should like to say that the cabbage called Savoy is an excellent variety to try. It should always have an early planting under cover, say in February, and then be transplanted into open beds in March or April. If the land is poor where you are to grow cabbage, then by all means choose Savoy.

Carrots are of two general kinds: those with long roots, and those with short roots. If long-rooted varieties are chosen, then the soil must be worked down to a depth of eighteen inches, surely. The shorter ones will do well in eight inches of well-worked sandy soil. Do not put carrot seed into freshly manured land. Another point in carrot culture is one concerning the thinning process. As the little seedlings come up you will doubtless find that they are much, much too close together. Wait a bit, thin a little at a time, so that young, tiny carrots may be used on the home table. These are the points to jot down about the culture of carrots.

The cucumber is the next vegetable in the line. This is a plant from foreign lands. Some think that the cucumber is really a native of India. A light, sandy and rich soil is needed I mean rich in the sense of richness in organic matter. When cucumbers are grown outdoors, as we are likely to grow them, they are planted in hills. Nowadays, they are grown in hothouses; they hang from the roof, and are a wonderful sight. In the greenhouse a hive of bees is kept so that cross-fertilization may go on.

But if you intend to raise cucumbers follow these directions: Sow the seed inside, cover with one inch of rich soil. In a little space of six inches diameter, plant six seeds. Place like a bean seed with the germinating end in the soil. When all danger of frost is over, each set of six little plants, soil and all, should be planted in the open. Later, when danger of insect pests is over, thin out to three plants in a hill. The hills should be about four feet apart on all sides.

Before the time of Christ, lettuce was grown and served. There is a wild lettuce from which the cultivated probably came. There are a number of cultivated vegetables which have wild ancestors, carrots, turnips and lettuce being the most common among them. Lettuce may be tucked into the garden almost anywhere. It is surely one of the most decorative of vegetables. The compact head, the green of the leaves, the beauty of symmetry all these are charming characteristics of lettuces.

As the summer advances and as the early sowings of lettuce get old they tend to go to seed. Don't let them. Pull them up. None of us are likely to go into the seed-producing side of lettuce. What we are interested in is the raising of tender lettuce all the season. To have such lettuce in mid and late summer is possible only by frequent plantings of seed. If seed is planted every ten days or two weeks all summer, you can have tender lettuce all the season. When lettuce gets old it becomes bitter and tough.

Melons are most interesting to experiment with. We suppose that melons originally came from Asia, and parts of Africa. Melons are a summer fruit. Over in England we find the muskmelons often grown under glass in hothouses. The vines are trained upward rather than allowed to lie prone. As the melons grow large in the hot, dry atmosphere, just the sort which is right for their growth, they become too heavy for the vine to hold up. So they are held by little bags of netting, just like a tennis net in size of mesh. The bags are supported on nails or pegs. It is a very pretty sight I can assure you. Over here usually we raise our melons outdoors. They are planted in hills. Eight seeds are placed two inches apart and an inch deep. The hills should have a four foot sweep on all sides; the watermelon hills ought to have an allowance of eight to ten feet. Make the soil for these hills very rich. As the little plants get sizeable say about four inches in height reduce the number of plants to two in a hill. Always in such work choose the very sturdiest plants to keep. Cut the others down close to or a little below the surface of the ground. Pulling up plants is a shocking way to get rid of them. I say shocking because the pull is likely to disturb the roots of the two remaining plants. When the melon plant has reached a length of a foot, pinch off the end of it. This pinch means this to the plant: just stop growing long, take time now to grow branches. Sand or lime sprinkled about the hills tends to keep bugs away.

The word pumpkin stands for good, old-fashioned pies, for Thanksgiving, for grandmother's house. It really brings more to mind than the word squash. I suppose the squash is a bit more useful, when we think of the fine Hubbard, and the nice little crooked-necked summer squashes; but after all, I like to have more pumpkins. And as for Jack-o'-lanterns why they positively demand pumpkins. In planting these, the same general directions hold good which were given for melons. And use these same for squash-planting, too. But do not plant the two cousins together, for they have a tendency to run together. Plant the pumpkins in between the hills of corn and let the squashes go in some other part of the garden.