Trees and shrubs which show signs of flagging should receive attention and be given water at the roots otherwise they may be greatly injured, especially if the weather should continue hot as it often does during the greater part of this month.
Spanish and German Irises, having ripened their bulbs, may now be taken up. The ground in which they are to be replanted should be dug deeply and well-fertilized with old rotted manure. The bulbs should be set out early in November; in the meantime have them sorted and placed in boxes in a cool dry place.
Propagate cuttings of all bedding plants as early in the month as practicable so that they may be well established before wet weather and dark days arrive.
Tuberous-rooted Begonias should now be at their best; encourage them to prolong their flowering season by giving them copious waterings and by giving the beds a light mulch of some suitable material such as very old stable-manure or leaf-mold.
Beds of Asters and other annuals which have ceased to bloom should be cleared of all old plants; if it is intended to fill the beds for Winter and Spring flowering, have the ground spaded over and apply a good dressing of soot. If the beds were manured in Spring, no manure will now be required. Plant the beds with Wallflowers, Myosotis, Silene, Pansies, Aubrietias, Viola cornuta, etc., planting them as soon as convenient so that they may get well-established before cold weather sets in. If planted early, they should begin blooming early in December and give abundance of flower all through the Winter and early Spring.
Poinsettias should be fully exposed to the sunshine from the present time on in order to mature and firm the growth.
Let the last batch of rooted plants be placed in their flowering-pots, which need not be larger than six-inch and the smaller plants will do better if given four-inch pots.
Roman Hyacinths, Paper white and Double Narcissus. Pot about five bulbs in a six-inch pot filled with a good rich compost, and plunge the pot in ashes for a few weeks, covering the pot with sand or ashes to the depth of six inches, leaving it thus until the bulbs fill the pot with their young roots. A situation facing North is most suitable for the plunging bed. When the pots are filled with roots, they may be brought into the greenhouse and gradually exposed to the light. Pot successive lots of bulbs so as to maintain a continuous supply of flowers from early in November until February when they begin blooming out of doors.
As soon as the bulbs arrive, have them unpacked at once and placed in a cool place until they can be potted. The most important point in Hyacinth growing is in the preparation of the soil which should be composed of good yellow loam, old dry cow-manure rubbed through a half-inch sieve, some coarse leaf-mold, and enough sand to keep it open. This compost should be well-mixed together by being turned over several times, and should be left to mellow at least one month before being used. For single bulbs of Hyacinths, use a pot having a diameter of five inches. Crock the pot by placing one flat piece of crock over the hole in the bottom of the pot; over this place two inches of potsherds broken into small pieces, and, to keep the soil from choking the drainage, above these place a thin layer of moss; then fill the pot loosely with the soil, making a hole with the hand for the reception of the bulb and placing a handful of sand in the cavity; on this place the bulb; press down the bulb and soil together and make the soil firm with the fingers, leaving the crown of the bulb a little above the soil. Give a good watering and place out of doors on a bed of ashes on a site with a Northern exposure and cover to the depth of six inches as previously advised for Roman Hyacinths. Here they should remain for about six weeks when they should be examined, and, when the pots are well-filled with roots, they may be removed to a cool place in the greenhouse and gradually exposed to light and air or to warmer quarters if desired to flower early.
Hyacinths, to flower in glasses, should be solely of the single-flowering varieties, and only good-sized firm bulbs should be selected. Nearly fill the glasses with soft water (rain water preferred); in the water place a few small pieces of charcoal; place the bulbs in the glasses so that the bases barely touch the water and place the glasses in a cool, dark situation until the roots nearly fill the glasses, when they may be placed in the greenhouse and gradually exposed to light but free from cold draughts. When it is desirable to transfer, to glasses, Hyacinths which have been grown in pots, their roots may be freed from soil by carefully dipping the ball in water and washing the roots, after which they may be placed in the Hyacinth glasses. A fresh batch of bulbs should be potted at intervals of three weeks until November, after which the bulbs seem to deteriorate.
When desired, Tulips, Scillas, Crocuses, etc., may be grown. The soil and treatment recommended for Hyacinths will be suitable for them also.