Early in April some fine old manure, to which a small quantity of bone-meal and wood-ashes, about a pailful of each to a wheelbarrow of manure, have been added, should be dug into the ground about the Roses, shrubs, and vines; the reward in increase of growth and quantity of flowers will be great.
The spray machine must be looked over and put in order in earliest Spring, and the various insecticides provided in advance.
Hollyhocks must be sprayed with Bordeaux mixture as soon as they are well up, which should be repeated about the 10th of May and again the 1st of June, to prevent the rust, that unsightly disease which covers the leaves first with red spots and then causes them to shrivel and fall, leaving a bare stalk. This year I have taken the precaution to spray the seedling Hollyhocks three times during the Summer, so that I hope to get ahead of the rust entirely.
The Roses, too, should be sprayed early in April with kerosene emulsion, and about the 1st of May with slugshot, and again, just before the buds form, with kerosene, as prevention against the creatures that attack them. Gardeners generally say, that this is unnecessary and wait until the pests appear, but experience has taught me that in the end it is less labor to keep ahead of the enemy.
The leaves of Monkshood have a tendency to turn black from some microbian disease, which will be averted if the plants are sprayed in April, May and June with Bordeaux mixture.
A spray of tobacco water will kill the aphids that sometimes appear on Chrysanthemums, and also the red ones that occasionally infest the stems of Rudbeckias.
Spraying with insecticides becomes more and more necessary for successful growing of fruit and flowers. Many plant diseases are even more infectious and contagious than those of humanity, and it is often too late to begin spraying when the trouble is perceived. Nothing spreads more rapidly than mildew and rust when once they make their appearance. And while Bordeaux mixture, the best specific for these disfiguring afflictions, does not add to the beauty of the plants sprayed with it, still the spraying must be done, if the garden, once attacked with these troubles is to be preserved in a healthy condition.
Climbing Roses that have shown signs of mildew the previous Summer, should also be sprayed in March, again when the leaves appear, and a third time after the roses have fallen. The moment that worms appear upon the currant and gooseberry bushes they must be sprayed with hellebore, and one application is generally sufficient.
The parasitic diseases appear in orchard and garden without warning and work great havoc in a short time. There is no doubt but that the spores are spread by the winds or carried by the birds, and one infected farm or garden spreads the trouble to another. As yet our place has been free from the dreaded San Jose scale, although neighboring farms have suffered from it. I trust that the future will see us still immune.
A friend on a neighboring farm, a young man who attends to everything in the most modern and scientific manner, is a great believer in the efficiency of spraying, has a fine equipment for the purpose, and sees that it is done at the proper times. A member of his family recently said to me:
"T------has sprayed everything on the farm that can he sprayed, and I fear he will now begin upon the family."
While there are many advantages in Autumn planting, better results being obtained when plants need not be disturbed in the Spring, and because all garden work accomplished in the Fall is a great relief in the busy Spring days, still nearly everything can be planted in the Spring if necessary.
Most perennials can be planted in Spring. A few, however, such as Bleeding-Heart, Crown-Imperial, Paeonies, and Valerian, start so early that they should always be set out in the Fall. On the other hand, Japanese Anemones, Tritomas, and Mont-bretias are plants that must always be set out in the Spring, as they must be well established before the first Winter, Hybrid-perpetual and climbing roses can be set out in the Spring, if planted very early before growth begins, and the more tender varieties must always be set out in the Spring.
Funkias August twenty-fourth.
Where the climate is like that of New York, perennials can be planted safely about the 15th of April, and the earlier it is done, the less chance there is that they will receive a setback. Success in planting depends much upon attention to details. Care must always be taken, to properly prepare the ground, to give the roots plenty of room, to water well at first and not to allow the poor things to suffer for want of food and moisture.
Along in May if a mulch of grass-clippings, leaves from the Autumn before, or old stable manure, be spread over the Rose-beds, tuberous ooted Begonias and Lilies, it will help them greatly through the summer.
Of the great number of hardy perennials the following are a few of those easiest grown and most satisfactory: Aconitum na-pellus (Monkshood), Agrostemma, Anemone Japonica, Aquilegia (Columbine), Bocconia, Boltonia, Coreopsis grandiflora. Delphiniums, Dianthus, Dicentra spectabilis (Bleeding- Heart), Dictamnus, Funkias, Helianthus multifloras plenus (double hardy Sunflower), Hemerocallis (Day Lily), Hibiscus, Hollyhocks, Iris, Lobelia (Cardinal flower), Oriental Poppy, Penstemon, Phlox, Platycodon Mariesi, Scabiosi Caucasia, Spireas, Tri-tomas, Veronica, Yuccas. The seed bed must be prepared as soon as the ground can be worked, and the seeds of perennials sown about April 10th. The earth for this bed should be made very light and fine, and from the time the seeds are sown until they are transplanted to their final home the little seedlings must never be allowed to dry out. Of the foregoing, the following will be found easy to raise from seed: Columbines, Hollyhocks, Sweet William, Platycodon Marie si, Delphiniums, Coreopsis, Hibiscus, Rockets, and Oriental Poppies. Also of the biennials, Foxglove and Campanula (Canterbury Bells). But it is better at first for the amateur to buy the plants of the other varieties.