This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
J. M., Brenham, Texas, writes: "Can you please inform me through the Monthly, what will keep sheeting from rotting when exposed to the atmosphere. We have to use it on the roofs of our greenhouses, and propagating houses; we cannot use glass, on account of the heavy hail storms we are visited with frequently. I have seen whole roofs of greenhouses of glass utterly demolished in a few moments by these fearful storms, they come so very sudden there is no time to make any preparations to protect glass, and the hail is larger than pigeon eggs, and glass will not stand that. We have been using good strong sheeting and have given it two coats of linseed oil to keep out water, which it has done; have used both the raw and the boiled oil, and have found no difference in it. It seems to stand here very well in the Winter and Spring and plants grow well under it, but through the Summer it rots away at once. Through the Winter and Spring, after the oil is put on, the sheeting looks perfectly white, but directly the hot weather sets in, the sheeting turns quite black, and plants will not do well in that dark light.
Sow, can you please tell me of any preparation we can use that will keep the sheeting from rotting and becoming full of mildew? Can you also tell me where I can procure fresh seed of Magnolia fuscata ?"
[We know of nothing better than the plan already in use by our correspondent. The New Orleans seedsmen could probably get the seed required. - Ed. G. M].