Author of " The Farmers' Friend," " The Family Gardener" etc.
There are some gardens that appear to convey a pervading sense of robust good health among the crops. Every plant in them seems to be well nourished, cared for, and flourishing. Other gardens will present a vista at once discouraging, with crowded, anaemic specimens struggling for a bare existence. The writer has actually seen this disparity on two adjoining plots of land. In growing crops for market the only profitable plan is to raise nothing but the best. It is sheer false economy to scamp a single garden task. Healthy, vigorous plants must be the continual aim, and this state of perfection is only obtainable by following the simple rules of nature. Primarily the ground must be well worked and manured according to the class of crop.
Good seed is, of course, a sine qua non, and it must be sown when the ground works well, and as near as possible to the correct date. Thinning, to be effective, must be thorough, and to obtain sturdy plants of any kind plenty of room must be apportioned; indeed, the more space, within reason, the more profitable will be the crop. During the period of growth everything possible must be done to foster its rapidity. Frequent hoeing of the ground will not only aerate the surface, thus preventing evaporation, but it will also check embryo weeds. Many an experienced gardener declares that the hoeing of root crops is as valuable as manure itself. Certainly it stands to reason that no plant can flourish in ground of which the surface has caked hard.