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Garden Planting Schedule for North


JANUARY
Cabbage plants in frames need free airing whenever the temperature is above the freezing point, or so long as the soil of the bed is not frozen. Snow, in that case, should be removed soon after its fall. As long as the soil is frozen the snow can safely be left on for a number of days. Cabbage, cauliflower, and lettuce seed should be sown at intervals to secure plants for extra-early sales or setting. A month later they will be ready to transfer to boxes, which should go to the coldframe and be given protection by mats or shutters.

Coldframes must be well ventilated on warm, sunny days; leave the sashes off as long as is possible without injury to the plants. Keep the soil in a friable condition, and look carefully to any possible places where water can stand and freeze. If the frames seem too cold, bank up around them with coarse manure.

Hotbeds. - Look up and repair the sashes. Save the horse-manure from day to day, rejecting dry litter, and piling up the droppings and urine-soaked bedding in thin layers to prevent violent heating.

Lettuce in frames treat as advised for cabbage plants.

Pruning should now be considered. Perhaps it is best to prune fruit-trees in March or April, but grapes and currants and gooseberries may be pruned now. January and February are good months in which to prune peach trees. Thin out the peach trees well, taking care to remove all the dead wood. If you have much pruning to do in apple, pear, or plum orchards, you will save time by utilizing the warm days now. Study well the different methods of pruning. Never let an itinerant pruner touch your trees until you are satisfied that he understands his business.

Tools should now be inspected and repaired, and any new ones that are needed made or ordered.

FEBRUARY
Cabbage. - Sow seed of Jersey Wakefield in flats filled with light loamy soil, the last week of this month. Sow thinly, cover lightly, and place the boxes in a gentle hotbed or any warm, sunny situation. When the plants are strong, transplant them into flats 1-1/2 in. apart each way. As growth begins, gradually expose them to the open air on all favorable occasions. Late in March remove them to a coldframe, and properly harden them off before setting them in the open ground.

Celery. - We urgently advise every one who has a garden, large or small, to make a trial of the new celery-culture. You need, first, good plants. Get some seed of White Plume or Golden Self-blanching, and sow it thickly in flats filled with fine loam. Cover by sifting a thin layer of sand or fine soil over it, and firm well. Keep in a moderately warm place, watering as needed, until plants appear. If you have a number of flats, they may be placed on top of one another. At the first sign of plant-growth, bring the flats gradually to the light. When the plants are 1-1/2 or 2 in. high, transplant them into other flats, setting them in rows 2-1/2 in. apart, the plants half an inch apart in the rows. Then set the flats in a coldframe until the plants are large enough to plant out in the open ground.

Hotbeds for raising early plants should be made this month. Always break the manure up fine and tread it down well. Be sure to put enough in the center of beds, so that there will be no sagging. Fresh manure of hard-worked and well-fed horses, free from dry litter, is best. An addition of leaves used for bedding will serve to produce a more moderate but more lasting heat. Sheep-manure may also be added to the horse-manure, should there be a scant supply of the latter on hand.

Onions. - We urgently advise giving the new onion-culture a trial. For seed, buy a packet or an ounce of Prizetaker, Spanish King, White Victoria, or some other large kind of globe onion. Sow the seed in flats, in a hotbed, or in a greenhouse late in the month, and transplant the onions to the open ground as soon as the latter is in working condition. Set the plants in rows 1 ft. apart and about 3 in. apart in the row.

Plums. - Make a thorough inspection of all plum and cherry trees, wild and cultivated, for plum-knot. Cut and burn all the knots found. Remove all "mummy" plums, for they spread the fruit-rot.

Rhubarb. - Give the plants in the garden a heavy dressing of fine old compost. If you wish a few early stalks, place kegs or boxes over some of the plants, and heap over them some heating horse-manure.

MARCH
Beets. - A few seeds may be sown in the hotbed.

Cabbage, cauliflower, and celery seeds may be sown for the early crop.

Egg-plants. - Seeds should be sown. Take care that the young plants are never stunted.

Grafting may be done in favorable weather. Cherries and plums must be grafted early. Use liquid grafting-wax in cold weather.

Hotbeds may be made at any time, but do not grow impatient about the work, for there will be cold weather yet. Clean, fresh manure is necessary, and a layer 2 ft. thick should be tramped hard. When once started and the seeds sown, do not let the beds get too hot. Give them air on fine days and give the seedlings plenty of water. Use two thermometers - one to test the atmosphere and the other the heat of the soil.

Lettuce should be sown in the hotbed for an early crop.

Onion seed for the new onion-culture may be sown at the close of the month.

Peas. - Sow now, if the ground can be worked.

Peppers may be sown late in the month.

Potatoes kept for seed must not be allowed to sprout. Keep them in a temperature near freezing point. Rub off the sprouts from potatoes kept for eating, and pick out all decayed specimens.

Spinach. - Sow some seeds for an early crop.

Tomato seeds may be sown in the hotbeds.

APRIL
Artichokes. - Sow the seeds for next year's crop. A deep, rich, sandy loam is best. Fork in a dressing of well-rotted manure around the old plants.

Asparagus. - Spade in some good manure in the bed, and give the soil a thorough working before the crowns start. Sow seeds in the open ground for young plants for a new bed.

Beans. - Limas may be started on sods in a hotbed or a coldframe towards the last of the month.

Beets. - The ground should be prepared and the seed sown for beets for cattle as soon as the weather will permit. Put them in before planting corn. They will stand considerable cold weather, and should be planted early to get a start of the weeds.

Blackberries should be pruned, the brush drawn off, piled, and burned. If it is necessary, to stake them, try a wire trellis, the same as for grapes, putting on one wire 2-1/2 ft. high. The young plants should be dug before the buds start.

Cabbage seed may be sown in the open ground, in coldframes, or in pans or boxes in the house. Early varieties should be started at once. Cabbages like a rich and heavy loam, with good drainage. Give them all the manure you can get.

Cauliflower seeds may be sown toward the last of the month. They should never have a check from the time the seed is sown until harvested.

Carrot. - Sow the seed of early sorts, like Early Forcing, as soon as the ground can be worked.

Celery. - Plan to grow celery by the new method. Plenty of manure and moisture are required to do this. Sow the seed in light, rich soil in the house, hotbed, coldframe, or open ground. Transplant the plants once before setting them in the field. Page 505.

Cress. - Sow early and every two or three weeks. Watercress should be sown in damp soil or in streams. The outer edges of a hotbed may also be utilized. Cress is often a profitable crop when rightly handled.

Cucumber seeds may be sown on sods in the hotbed.

Egg-plant. - Sow in the hotbed, and transplant when 2 in. high to other beds or pots. They must have good care, for a check in their growth means all the difference between profit and loss.

Lettuce. - Sow the seeds in the hotbed, and in the open ground as soon as it can be worked. Plants sown a month ago should be transplanted.

Leek. - Sow the seeds in the open ground in drills 6 in. apart and 1 in. deep, and when large enough, thin to 1 in. in the row.

Muskmelon. - Plant seeds in sods in the hotbed.

Parsnip. - Dig the roots before they grow and become soft and pithy. Seeds may be sown as soon as the ground is dry enough to work.

Parsley. - Soak the seeds in warm water for a few hours, and sow in the open ground.

Peas. - Sow the seeds as soon as the ground can be worked. They will stand considerable cold and transplanting also. Time may be gained by sowing some seeds in moist sand in a box in the cellar and transplanting when well sprouted. Plant deep in light, dry soil; cover an inch at first, and draw in the earth as the vines grow.

Potatoes. - Plant early on rich soil free from blight and scab. For a very early crop, the potatoes may be sprouted before planting.

Peppers. - Sow the seeds in the hotbed or in the boxes in the house.

Radish seeds may be sown in the open ground or in the hotbed and the crop harvested from there. The small, round varieties are best for this purpose.

Strawberries. - Give a good, thorough cultivation between the rows and then remove the mulch from the plants, placing it in the rows, where it will help to keep the weeds down.

Salsify. - Sow the seeds as soon as the ground can be worked. Give the same care and cultivation as for carrots or parsnips.

Spinach seeds must be sown early, and then every two weeks for a succession. Thin out and use the plants before they send up flower-stalks.

Squashes. - Hubbards and summer squashes may be started on sods in the hotbed.

Tomato. - Sow in the hotbed or in shallow boxes in the house. Try some of the yellow varieties; they are the finest flavored of any.

MAY
Beans. - The bush sorts may be planted in the open ground, and limas in pots or sods in a coldframe or spent hotbed. Limas require a long season to mature, and should be started early.

Beets. -Sow for a succession. Transplant those started under glass.

Cabbages always do best on a freshly turned sod, and should be set before the land has had time to dry after plowing. The secret of success in getting a large yield of cabbage is to start with rich land and put on all the manure obtainable. Clean out the hog yard for this purpose.

Cucumbers. - Sow in the open ground toward the last of the month. A few may be started as advised for lima beans.

Lettuce. - Sow for a succession, and thin to 4 in. in the rows.

Melons. - Plant in the open ground toward the end of the month. It is useless to plant melons and other cucurbitaceous plants until settled weather has arrived.

Onions. - Finish planting and transplanting, and keep all weeds down, both in the seed-bed and the open field.

Peas. - Sow for a succession.

Squashes. - Plant as advised for melons and cucumbers. They require a rich, well-manured soil.

Strawberries. - Remove the blossoms from newly set plants. Mulch with salt hay or marsh hay or clean straw or leaves those that are to bear. Mulching conserves moisture, keeps the berries clean, and prevents weeds from growing.

Sweet corn. - Plant early and late varieties, and by making two or three plantings of each, at intervals, a succession may be kept up all summer and fall. Sweet corn is delicious, and one can hardly have too much of it.

Tomatoes. - Set some early plants by the middle of the month or earner, if the ground is warm, and the season early and fair. They may be protected from the cold by covering with hay, straw, cloth, or paper, or even with earth. The main crop should not be set until the 20th or 25th, or until all danger of frost is over. However, tomatoes will stand more chilly weather than is ordinarily supposed.

JUNE
Asparagus. - Cease cutting and allow the shoots to grow. Keep the weeds down and the soil well stirred. An application of a quick commercial fertilizer or of liquid manure will be beneficial.

Beans. - Sow the wax sorts for succession. As soon as a crop is off, pull out the vines and plant the ground to late cabbage, turnips, or sweet corn.

Beets. - Transplant in rows 1 to 3 ft. apart and 6 in. in the row. Cut off most of the top, water thoroughly, and they will soon start.

Cabbage and cauliflower. - Set plants for the late crop. Rich, newly turned sod and a heavy dressing of well-rotted manure go a long way toward assuring a good crop.

Celery. - Set the main crop, and try the new method of setting the plants 7 in. apart each way, if you have rich land and can irrigate, but not unless these conditions are present. Page 505.

Cucumbers may yet be planted, if done early in the month.

Currants. - Spray with Paris green for the currant worm until the fruit sets. Hellebore is good, but it is difficult to get it of good strength; use it for all late spraying.

Lettuce. - Sow for succession in a moist, cool, and partially shaded spot. The seed does not germinate well in hot weather.

Lima beans should be hoed frequently, and started on the poles if they are contrary.

Melons. - Cultivate often and watch for the bugs. A screen of closely woven wire or mosquito netting may be used to cover the vines, or tobacco dust sifted on thickly.

Onions. - Keep free from weeds and stir the ground frequently and especially after every rain.

Squashes. - Keep the ground well cultivated and look out for bugs. (See Melons.) Layer the vines and cover the joints with fresh soil, to prevent death of the vines from the attacks of the borer.

Strawberries. - Plow up the old bed that has borne two crops, as it will usually not pay to keep it. Set the ground to late cabbage or some other crop. The young bed that has borne the first crop should have a thorough cultivation and the plow run close to the rows to narrow them to the required width. Pull up or hoe out all weeds and keep the ground clean the rest of the season. This applies with equal force to the newly set bed. A bed can be set late next month from young runners. Pinch off the end after the first joint, and allow it to root on a sod or in a small pot set level with the surface.

Tomatoes. - For an early crop train to a trellis, pinch off all side shoots, and allow all the strength to go to the main stalk. They may also be trained to poles, the same as lima beans, and can be set closer if grown in this way. Spray with the bordeaux mixture for the blight, keep the foliage thinned and the vines off the ground.

Turnips. - Sow for an early fall crop.

JULY
Beans. - Sow the wax sorts for a succession.

Beets. - Sow Early Egyptian or Eclipse for young beets next fall.

Blackberries. - Head back the young canes to 3 ft., and the laterals also when they get longer. They may be pinched with the thumbnail and finger in a small patch, but this soon makes the fingers sore, and when there are many bushes to go over, it is better to use a pair of shears or a sharp sickle.

Cabbage. - Set plants for the late crop.

Corn. - Plant sweet corn for succession and late use.

Cucumbers. - It is late to plant, but they may be put in for pickles if done before the Fourth. Cultivate those which are up, and keep an eye open for bugs.

Currants. - Cover a few bushes with muslin or burlap before the fruit ripens, and you can eat currants in August. Use hellebore, rather than Paris green, for the last brood of currant worms, and apply it as soon as the worms appear. There is little danger in using it, even if the currants are ripe.

Lettuce seed does not germinate well in hot weather. Sow in a moist, shaded position for a succession.

Lima beans. - Hoe them frequently, and give assistance to get on the poles.

Melons. - Watch for bugs, and apply tobacco dust freely around the plants. Keep them well cultivated. A light application of bone meal will pay.

Peaches, pears, and plums should be thinned to secure fine fruit and to help sustain the vigor of the tree. Ripening the seed is what draws on the tree's vitality, and if the number of seeds can be reduced one-half or two-thirds, part of the strength required to ripen them will go into perfecting the fruit and seeds left, and add greatly to the fine appearance, flavor, and quality of the edible portion.

Radishes. - Sow the early kinds for a succession, and toward the end of the month the winter sorts may be put in.

Raspberries. - Pinch back the canes to 2-1/2 ft., the same way as given for blackberries.

Squashes. - Keep the ground well stirred, and use tobacco dust freely for bugs and beetles. Cover the joints with fresh soil, to guard against injury by the vine-borer.

AUGUST
Beets. - A last sowing of the early table sorts may be made for a succession.

Cabbage. - Harvest the early crop, and give good cultivation to the main crop. Keep down the bugs and worms.

Celery. - The latest crop may yet be set. Earlier set plants should be handled as they attain sufficient size. Common drain tiles are excellent for blanching if one has them, and must be put on when the plants are about half grown. Hoe frequently to keep the plants growing.

Onions. - Harvest as soon as the bulbs are well formed. Let them lie on the ground until cured, then draw to the barn floor or some other airy place and spread thinly. Market when you can get a good price, and the sooner the better.

Tomatoes may be hastened in coloring by being picked just as they begin to color and placed in single layers in a coldframe or hotbed, where they can be covered with sash.

SEPTEMBER
In many parts of the North it is not too late to sow rye, or peas, or corn, to afford winter protection for orchards. As a rule, very late fall plowing for orchards is not advisable. Now is a good time to trim up the fence-rows and to burn the brush piles, in order to destroy the breeding places of rabbits, insects, and weeds. Cuttings of gooseberries and currants may be taken. Use only the wood of the current year's growth, making the cuttings about a foot long. Strip off the leaves, if they have not already fallen, tie the cuttings in large bundles, and bury them in a cold cellar, or in a sandy, well-drained knoll; or if the cutting-bed is well prepared and well drained, they may be planted immediately, the bed being well mulched upon the approach of winter. September and October are good months in which to set orchards, provided the ground is well prepared and well drained, and is not too much exposed to sweeping winds. Wet lands should never be set in the fall; and such lands, however, are not fit for orchards. Strawberries may still be set; also bush fruits.

Seeds of various flowers may now be sown for winter bloom, if one has a conservatory or good window. Petunias, phloxes, and many annuals make good window plants. Quicker results are secured, however, if border plants of petunias and some other things are dug up just before frost and placed in pots or boxes. Keep them cool and shaded for a couple of weeks, cut down the tops, and they will send up a vigorous and floriferous growth. Winter roses should now be in place in the beds or in pots.

There will be odd days when one can go to the woods and fields and collect roots of wild herbs and shrubs for planting in the yard or along the unused borders of the garden.

OCTOBER
Asparagus. - Old plantations should now be cleaned off, and the tops removed at once. This is a good time to apply manure to the beds. For young plantations, which may be started now as well as in spring, select a warm soil and sunny exposure, and give each plant plenty of room. We like to set them in rows 5 ft. apart and at least 2 ft. apart in the rows.

Cabbages. - The heads that will winter best are those just fully formed, not the over-ripe ones. For family use, bury an empty barrel in a well-drained spot, and fill it with good heads. Place a lot of dry leaves on top, and cover the barrel so that it will shed rain. Or, pile some cabbages in a corner of the barn floor and cover them with enough straw to prevent solid freezing. Pages 159, 470.

Cabbage-plants, started from seed last month, should be pricked out in cold-frames, putting about 600 to the ordinary sash and setting them quite deep.

Chicory. - Dig what is wanted for salad, and store it in sand in a dry cellar.

Endive. - Blanch by gathering up the leaves and tying them lightly at the tips.

General garden management. - The only planting that can be done in open ground at this time is restricted to rhubarb, asparagus, and perhaps onion-sets. Begin to think about next year's planting, and to make arrangements for the manure that will be needed. Often you can purchase it now to good advantage, and haul it while the roads are yet good. Clean up and plow the ground when the crops are harvested.

Lettuce. - Plants to be wintered over should be set in frames like cabbage-plants.

Onions. - Plant sets of Extra Early Pearl, or some other hardy kind, in the same fashion as in early spring. They are likely to winter well, and will give an early crop of fine bunching onions. For the North, fall sowing of onion-seed cannot be recommended.

Parsley. - Lift some plants and set them in a coldframe 4 or 5 in. apart, or in a box filled with good soil, and place in a light cellar or under a shed.

Pears. - Pick the winter sorts just before there is danger from freezing. Put them in a cool, dark place, where they will neither mold nor shrivel. To hasten ripening, they may be brought into a warm room as wanted.

Rhubarb. - If plants are to be set or replanted this fall, enrich the ground with a superabundance of fine old stable-manure, and give each plant a few feet of space each way. In order to have fresh pie-plant in winter, dig up some of the roots and plant them in good soil in a barrel placed in the cellar.

Sweet-potatoes. - Dig them when ripe after the first frost. Cut off the vines, and turn the potatoes out with a potato-fork or plow. Handle them carefully to prevent bruising. Only sound, well-ripened roots are in proper condition to be wintered over.

NOVEMBER
Asparagus. - Manure before winter sets in.

Beets. - They keep best in pits. Some may be kept in the cellar for use during winter, but cover them with sand or sods to prevent shriveling.

Blackberries. - Cut away the old wood and mulch the roots. Tender sorts should be laid down and lightly covered with soil at the tips.

Carrots. - Treat as advised for beets.

Celery. - Dig up the stalks, leaving the roots on, and stand them close together in a narrow trench, tops just even with the ground-level. Gradually cover them with boards, earth, and manure. Another way is to set them upright upon the floor of a damp cellar or root-house, keeping the roots moist and the tops dry. Celery can stand some frost, but not exposure to less than 22° F. The stalks intended for use before Christmas may in most localities be left outdoors, to be used as wanted. Should cold weather set in early, they will need covering in some way. Page 475.

Orchard management. - Young trees should have a mound of earth raised around the stem as a support and protection against mice, etc. Small and lately planted trees may have stakes set beside them, and be tied to the stakes with a broad band. Apple and pear trees may yet be planted. Trim superfluous or unhealthy wood out of the old orchards.

Spinach. - Cover the beds lightly with leaves or litter before winter sets in.

Strawberries. - Soon it will be time to mulch the beds. Provide marsh hay, or other coarse litter, free from weed-seeds, and when the ground has frozen an inch or so, spread it all over the surface thinly and evenly.

DECEMBER

Cabbages. - Plants in coldframes should be aired freely and kept cool. Heads intended for winter and spring use, if not yet taken in or protected from severe freezing, must now be cared for. Do not cover them too deeply, nor store them in too warm a place.

Carrots. - Store them in cellars or pits. If in cellars, keep the roots covered with sand or sod, to prevent wilting.

General garden management. - Begin now to make your plans for next season's work. Carefully study up the matter of rotation, also that of feeding your crops in the most effective and economical manner. Repair frames, sashes, and tools. Clear up the garden and premises. Underdrain where needed. Beds for early vegetables should be thrown up in high, narrow ridges, with deep furrows between. This will enable you to plant them several days or weeks earlier than otherwise.

Kale. - In very exposed or northern locations cover it lightly with coarse litter.

Onions. - For winter storage select only well-ripened, perfectly dry bulbs. Store them in a dry, airy place, not in the cellar. They may be spread out thinly on the floor, away from the walls, allowed to freeze solid, and then covered several feet deep with hay or straw.

Parsnips. - Take up some roots for winter use and store them in sand in the cellar.

Strawberry-beds should be given their winter covering of marsh hay, etc., as soon as the ground is frozen solid.