Gladioli are now much benefited by a dressing of old stable-manure, followed by copious applications of water. When nourished in this manner, the plants will grow to a large size and give fine spikes of large, deep-colored flowers.
Dahlias also should receive plenty of water, and, when in heavy bloom, they will be greatly benefited by a generous supply of liquid manure twice a week; no plant repays generous treatment and good cultivation better than the Dahlia. Thin out weak shoots and attend to the staking and tying in of the shoots; also thin in the flower-buds and cut off all spent flowers.
Early-flowering varieties of Chrysanthemums should now be making rapid growth. If weak shoots appear they should be removed at once; see that they are well attended to in the way of watering and repotting, for if the plants are allowed to suffer from lack of pot-room or of sufficient moisture, the result will be weak stems and small flowers. Attend to the staking and tying of the plants in order to guard against injury from strong winds.
Deciduous shrubs, such as Weigelas, Deutzias, Mock Orange, etc., should have the shoots, which have flowered this season, cut back to the stronger young shoots, and all weak shoots removed entirely. Care should be taken that they receive plenty of water at the root during the growing season.
Seeds of Mignonette may now be sown, selecting if possible a cool situation facing the North. After sowing, shade the soil with some light material, such as a thin layer of straw, to keep the soil from baking until germination. Sow also seeds of Pan-sies, Hollyhocks, Canterbury Bells, Intermediate Stocks, Wallflowers, Anemone coronaria, Carnations and other early Spring-flowering plants. By sowing seeds this month, one can count on having strong plants ready to take the place of those which finish blooming in October, and the plants which begin to show bloom in early Winter will keep the flower-beds bright with color until late in the Spring.
Put in the last of the Poinsettia cuttings for the year as early in the month as practicable, care being taken that the young plants do not suffer from want of water, as few plants show the effects of the lack of it more quickly than the Poinsettia. As it is generally desired that the largest plants possible be grown in small pots, a rich soil should be used in potting. A compost consisting of good turfy-loam, good peat or leaf-mold, and silver-sand, with a sprinkling of bone-meal will be found suitable. In potting, the size of the future pot should be borne in mind as really fine plants may be grown in six or seven-inch pots; so, in the first potting, three-and-a-half-inch pots will be found large enough. When the cuttings are first potted, return them to the cutting bed and keep them shaded closely for a few days, syringing with tepid water several times daily until they form fresh roots when they can be gradually exposed to the sunlight. This treatment will cause the leaves to be retained almost down to the soil. In the Southern portions of our State, where this plant gives such splendid results in the open air, the young plants may be set out in their permanent quarters about the beginning of the present month, a sunny, sheltered situation and a fairly-rich, light soil being selected.
Palms should now be in full growth. They should be copiously syringed night and morning and have weak manure-water applied to the roots at least once a week. Should any scale or other insects appear, give a thorough cleansing with soap-suds or other insecticide (using a sponge or soft rag when washing), going over the leaves two or even three times until they are perfectly clean.
At this dry season, Ferns should be given a plentiful supply of water; the air of the house should be maintained as cool and moist as possible by keeping the floors and benches constantly wet. Keep the plants shaded at least eight hours of the day.
Continue to propagate Acalyphas and Coleus for Fall and Winter decoration.