Author of" The Fanners' Friend" "The Family Gardener" etc. Continued from page 1645, Part 13

Systematic Planning-the Objective of Skilful Cropping-" Catch" Crops-the Diary-accounts-what to Grow

Tn the conduct of a market garden, whether it is under the management of women or men, system should play a prominent part. Combined with the actual physical labour there must be close mental concentration, and there is as much opportunity for fresh ideas and bright conceptions in the small-holding industry as in every other vocation.

The principal points upon which to systematise are the plans for cropping, the actual accounts, and the purchase of supplies. At the same time, system and clear reasoning must be brought to bear in every operation. Women market gardeners commencing their venture must strike out boldly for themselves. There are certain to be village wiseacres only too eager to advise,

Cabbage plants are set out from fifteen to eighteen inches apart

Cabbage plants are set out from fifteen to eighteen inches apart, according to variety. A dibber should be used, and the soil made firm about the roots of the plants and the suggestions so put forward should be charily received. The average rural counsellor is inclined to do things "just as feyther did," and to be hopelessly out of date in consequence.

Speaking of skilful cropping, the objective should always be to work the land to its uttermost capacity. The moment one crop has matured, clear it off and lay down another. Metaphorically, let the plough follow the reap-hook. Keep always before you the main fact that you want to turn something into money every week in the year, so far as is climatically possible.

Assuming that one commences in the spring with the ordinary sowing and planting programme, broad beans will probably be the first crop to be disposed of, and the land they have occupied may be plantea out with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or Savoy cabbages. Early potatoes may give way to celery in its trenches, early peas to leeks, round spinach to main-crop beet, and so on.

Towards the height of summer, vacant spots as they appear may be filled with broccoli, cabbage, and onions to stand the winter, the latter crop being sown as early in August as is convenient. Then there is prickly spinach, sown in August or early September. The strictest economy must be exercised with regard to the land. Ground in good heart, manured suitably for each crop and well worked, needs no period of rest. Not a square inch should be wasted. On the crest of the celery trenches one should grow a "catch" crop of radishes or lettuces; if there is a narrow margin by a path or ditch, cabbage, parsley, or some other useful subject may be raised. The space between the. rows of peas might well be used for spinach, provided the rows are made to run north and south. An odd corner will accommodate a clump of rhubarb or a gooseberry bush, and fences may be used for training loganberries or the more homely blackberry. If the rows of main-crop potatoes are set thirty inches apart, there will be room for an intervening cabbage crop.

A working diary is essential for the practical market gardener. Not only should it form a record of sowing and planting, but it should be anticipatory, the approximate dates when crops may be expected to mature being carefully noted, and if there be a preponderance of blank dates, then there must indeed be a flaw in the planning arrangements. I use the word "diary" because a book of this nature is so serviceable. As a matter of fact, the notes made should be more in the nature of a list of future engagements than a reminiscence.

The ideal system of accounts is to keep an ordinary day-book, in which should be entered the incomings and outgoings, the former on the left-hand side, the latter on the right. Each trivial item should be noted at the close of the day, and twice a year this day-book should be analysed and a full statement of profit and loss prepared. It is only by this method that one can tell at a glance where the greatest profits are earned, where there is wastage, and where economies might be effected. The preparation I7c6 of this statement will occupy much time, but it will be time well and wisely spent.

The following is a tabulated list of the items that should appear on the statement I refer to:

Receipts

s. d. By sale of produce wholesale

{charge each crop singly) ,, sale of produce retail ,, family hampers at 2s. 6d. .. ,, family hampers at 5s. ,, family hampers at 7s. 6d. ,, produce used in the house . ,, produce given away .. ,, stock of manure, tools, seeds, growing crops, etc., at the close of period of accounts.. (A careful stocktaking is necessary, and depreciation in appliances must be allowed for.)

Expenditure

s. d.

To rent, rates and taxes [garden only) ..........

,, water used in the garden .. ,, manure purchased and used ,, stock of manure, tools, seeds, growing crops, etc., at the commencement of the period (This should be noted at the time in one's diary.)

„ wages ........

,, ploughing and harrowing .. ,, heating and lighting in connection with the garden operations ........

,, carriage on produce

,, petty cash ........

The difference between the two sides of account will obviously show the exact profit and loss derived from the garden itself, and items of a purely domestic nature should be omitted. The stocktaking presents the greatest difficulty, and should be performed in a perfectly impartial manner, if possible, with the assistance of a practical friend. Too much stress cannot be laid upon the importance of scrupulous accounts, for if you cannot place your finger on a weak spot, you will not be conducting your holding on business-like lines.

Crops To Grow

Broccoli. A most useful vegetable, invaluable for family hampers. A first sowing of seed should be made in March, and the plants set out two feet apart when - large enough to handle. This crop can hardly be treated too liberally with manure, and the hoe must be kept regularly at work through the summer. For winter use a sowing of broccoli seed may be made late in May.

Varieties (early): Adams' Early White, Sprouting Purple; (late): Walcheren, Self-protecting.

Brussels Sprouts. A prolific and profitable crop. remaining productive for at least five months. A first sowing should be made early in March in a fine seed-bed, and successional sowings till April or mid-may. As soon as the plants are large enough, bed out in ground that has been liberally manured, setting the plants at least two feet apart. Hoe constantly during the period of growth.

When gathering, the small "buttons" at the top should be picked first, then the larger and more open "rosettes." Even the green tops command a ready sale in January and February.

Scrymger's Giant, Covent Garden, and The Wroxton are good varieties.

Cabbage.-There is always a steady demand for good cabbages, and in the London markets they are sold in "tallies" of sixty cabbages, 5s. per tally being an average price. In family hampers, cabbages need never be charged less than 2d. apiece.

To grow cabbage to perfection, first make up a seed-bed in a warm, dry spot, and sow in drills a foot apart. Then, when the plants are sufficiently large, bed them out in rich, well-worked ground. The plants should be set out from fifteen to eighteen inches apart, according to variety. For summer crops, seed should be sown in March and April; July and August are the months for sowing for a spring supply.

For spring sowing use Winningstadt, Early Drumhead, and Enfield Market.

For summer sowing use Ellam's Early, Early Offenham, and Flower of Spring.

Pickling Cabbage is sown in March, and Red Dutch is a good variety.

Savoy Cabbage is sown in March and

It is of the utmost importance to keep all classes of cabbage crops frequently hoed

It is of the utmost importance to keep all classes of cabbage crops frequently hoed, particularly during the prevalence of dry weather. A 3-inch swan' necked hoe should be used for this work

April, and Green Curled is an excellent sort. Carrot. The carrot requires a well-worked soil, and should be grown on a site that was heavily manured for the crop of the previous season, as it forms misshapen roots when brought into contact with fresh manure. The seed is of a tenacious habit, and is best separated by being mixed with twice its bulk of silver sand before sowing, the mixture being placed in a bowl and well rubbed through the hand.

Sow carrot seed sparingly in April in drills a foot apart, and thin as early as possible, hoeing the crop frequently during dry weather. To get large roots, the plants should be thinned to nine inches asunder.

Varieties: Early Gem, Altrincham

Selected, and James's Scarlet.

Cauliflower. Cauliflower is very similar to broccoli, but hardly so robust. Seed may be sown in a frame in February or in the open in May, and the plants should be set out in rows eighteen inches apart, with twenty-two inches between the plants in the row; the larger varieties might well have even more room. Choose an open, sunny site.

Varieties: Walcheren, Early Snowball, and Autumn Giant.

Celery. This is a crop that matures in the winter and will bring grist to the mill when most required. The seed may be sown in a frame in March or out of doors in April. As soon as the plantlings are of a useful size they should be set out in wide, deep frenches nine inches apart. These trenches should be eighteen inches across, and a little over a foot in depth, and the soil at the base of the trench should be very liberally enriched with well-decayed manure. A common mistake is to merely dump the manure into the trench and lightly cover it with soil, but for the dung to be effective it must be well mixed with the staple.

Frequent watering is necessary until the plants are established, and as they grow earth should be packed round the stems. It is an excellent plan to wind bast spirally round the stems to keep soil from entering the hearts and to ensure well-bleached heads. Gradually fill in the trench with soil as the plants grow, and then mould up above the surface of the surrounding ground with more earth. Celery is a subject that appreciates a little salt.

Varieties: Leicester Red,. Sandringham White, and Grove White.

Cress. Cress for salading and other uses is always saleable, and a constant supply should be maintained through the summer by successional sowing. The seed is usually sown in shallow boxes and covered with an eighth of an inch of soil, and when it matures it is cut with a pair of long-handled scissors, and packed in 4-inch punnets.

The writer has, however, grown cress satisfactorily in the punnets by first placing a thin layer of soil; and punnets of growing cress are likely to be much appreciated in family hampers. Several punnets of this size may be purchased for a penny, and careful packing in the hampers is necessary. Cress seed costs is. per pint. To be continued.