This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Most of our readers know that evergreens can be transplanted with considerable success at any season of the year if certain precautions be taken. But perhaps the best time is just as the buds are about to burst. The roots are very active just then, and soon recover from any injury done them. They can be moved long after the buds have pushed, if the young growth be pinched back. It is enough to pinch off half the length of the growing shoot, though in cases of poor roots nearly all may be taken away. In like manner deciduous trees may be planted long after they are in leaf, if a good portion of the young leaves and branchlets are cut out. In this kind of pruning the custom is carelessly to cut. away anything; and as the stout, strong end branches come first to hand, these are the ones sacrificed, - but this should be reversed. It is the poor, slender, half-dried-up stuff that should be cut out. The healthy, luxuriant wood, full of life and sap, is just what we want to depend on. Watering at transplanting is poor policy. It is much better to have the earth dry, and broken in well about the roots. They will get all the moisture they need if only in contact with the earth. This is just what thorough beating does. Some people fear injuring the roots by this tremendous beating process.
But far more injury results from open air-spaces, loose holes, and such like, than from all the injury the most severe pounding with heavy hammers is ever likely to inflict. The depth to be planted will depend on the kind of tree, and kind of soil. In light sandy soil, there is seldom injury from deep planting, - and especially from woody rooting trees like oaks and poplars - but fibrous rooted trees suffer very much, especially in heavy clay soils. If land is rather wet, elevate the plants somewhat above instead of putting them below the surface. There are a few things with poor ferny root3 which must always be set deep. Pyracantha is one of these. The plant may be half buried to advantage. Amongst evergreens the singular Thuja ericoides is another example.
Flowers in pots and tubs, for adorning roads and gardens, now spring like lovely butterflies from their winter's hiding places. Cellars give forth their treasures, and barns, pits and greenhouses bring forth their lovely things each after its kind.
This branch of gardening has not been enough valued. There are many things which do not well endure our winter, that are truly beautiful when a little protection is afforded them; but because they are only half hardy, are not grown at all. The following are well worthy of being grown in this way:
Magnolia fuscata, Pittosporums, Cleroden-dron Bungei, Hydrangea, Figs, Oleander, pink and white; Pomegranate, single for fruit and double for show; Bignonia Capensis, Bouvar-dia triphylla, Oranges,'Lemons, Laurel, Bay, Laurustinus, New Zealand flax, Mahonias - particularly M. Darwiriii - Euonymus japonicus, Aloes, Agaves, and others. In very cold climates, Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots and Pluma might be grown in this way, and would not only charm the eye during the flowering season, but add their mite to more material pleasure, in a way agreeable to most persons of taste, if not of refinement.
Mow lawns very early the first mowing, or at every subsequent mowing the lawn will look brown. A thin sprinkling of salt is good for the lawn, just enough salt to see the grains on the surface, about a quarter of an inch apart. An overdose will destroy the grass. Frequent rolling is one of the best ways to get a good close Bod. When coarse weeds get in the lawn, hand weeding is the best remedy.
Tuberoses, Gladiolus, Tigridias, Dahlias, and other bulbous things which cannot be put out till the ground gets warm, ought not to be kept out of the earth any longer than necessary. It was once supposed they thrive best in poor soil - an error; they love rich food.