The hotbed (65. The Hot-bed) is a desirable accompaniment of every family garden except in small city places. Well-arranged permanent homesteads often have what is known as a permanent hot-bed. This has a sunken path in the centre with hotbeds on each side, about four feet above the path bottom. Sometimes the heat is given by extension of hot-water- or steam-pipes from the house. Some also use small hot-water heaters, such as are used in bath-rooms of private houses. Still others use manure, as in the common hot-bed (65). The advantage of such a structure is that the person in charge can go inside to do all the work of watering and caring for the plants and attending to ventilation.
Fig. 104. - Permanent, lean-to hot-bed. (After Green.)
Quite frequently the permanent hot-bed for home use is made as a lean-to on the south side of a building, as shown in Fig. 104. With steps leading down to the path and door opening inward, a bed twelve feet long, using four ordinary hot-bed sash, gives a handy, permanent, yet very cheap structure that will prove very useful for the starting of the tender vegetables and flowers. The hot-bed represented has the space below the soil filled with manure. The only change needed for hot-water or steam heating is putting in boards or slate to support the soil, which in the figure rests on the manure. The management is given in section (65. The Hot-bed) with manure heating. better yet, in pots. A main element of success is a supply of stocky, well-rooted plants, and a potted plant with roots encased in a ball of earth can be transplanted safely at any time. But the most favorable time for all vegetable or flower transplanting is on cloudy days, or after four o'clock P.M. in clear weather, as after that time the air is not so dry and the plants have the benefit of the cool night to become established. The novice usually fails in properly firming the soil about the roots and crown so well that the plant cannot readily be pulled. The drier the soil the more firmly plants should be set.
In growing tomato, egg-plant, or other plants in hotbeds they should be transplanted in "flats," Fig. 105, or,
Fig. 105. - A "flat" planted with lettuce to be held in the cold-frame for early family use. (After Green.)