We are now fairly into winter, and close attention must be given to protecting all tender plants. It is one of the commonest complaints, especially from ladies, that their plants "looked so nice until one cold night in December "defeated the whole care of the year by killing or wounding hundreds of the cherished favorites of the greenhouse or window garden. There is no rule but vigilance, and as extra strong fires will be kept up, look out again nightly for all combustible matter near the flue or chimney. If you find the thermometer in the greenhouse or parlor where your plants are kept, falling down to 34 or 35 degrees, the chances are that there will be frost in the house; the best protection in such cases is either to set the plants under the benches or on the walk if in the greenhouse, or move them from the cold point if in the parlor; if the plants are low and uniform in night, covering them with paper or sheeting will usually save them from injury even if the thermometer falls to 26 or 28 degrees. Another plan is to dash water on the pipes or flue in the greenhouse on cold nights, the steam arises to the glass, freezes there, and stops up all crevices. All mulching, strawing up, or other modes of protecting against frost in use in the flower-garden, must be finished this month.
Grape-vines, raspberries, etc., in sections where protection from severe frost is of advantage, should be attended to this month, by laying them down as near the ground as possible, and covering them with rough litter or leaves, or with a few inches of soil.
The final covering of celery in trenches, or roots in pits; the spinach crop in ground, or any other article in need of protection, must have it done before the end of this month. Manure and compost heaps should now be forwarded as rapidly as possible, and turned and mixed so as to be in proper condition for spring. Snow that accumulates on cold frames or other glass structures, should be removed, particularly if the soil that the glass covers was not frozen before the snow fell; if frozen, it may remain on the sashes longer, for the plants if frozen are, of course dormant, and would not be injured by being deprived of light for eight or ten days.