One never realises the absurdity of indiscriminate manuring more fully than when he observes the difference between the development of a Potato and, say, a Brussels Sprout. In the former case we have a vegetable which forms its crop underground, developing from tiny, tender tubercles on thin, stoloniferous stems; in the latter a plant which forms its crop aboveground on a strong, fleshy stem. The Potato tubercles come into actual contact with the manure in the soil unless it be buried to a good depth; the Brussels Sprout does not do so. The method of development of the Potato crop - the lateral expansion, so to say, of the tubers - should teach that the soil favourable to it is one of a very friable, yielding nature, and that a stiff, stubborn, clinging soil is unsuitable. On the other hand, a firmer medium is necessary for Brussels Sprouts. The tenderness of the Potato tubercle should teach another thing, namely, that sharp particles in the soil, such as cinders, are bad, because the soft skin is liable to be scratched, and admission afforded to the growth of the scab fungus. The more we study the Potato the more clearly we realise that the first essential to success is a well-drained and finely pulverised medium. With respect to manure, it is not unreasonable to demur to the practice of applying rank, wet dung so late, and at so shallow a depth, that it comes into actual contact with the tubers. Dung may be used for Potatoes with good results, but it should be well decayed, and trenched in a foot below the surface several weeks in advance of cropping. It should never be used in the drills unless very short, dry enough to handle without unpleasantness, and quite crumbly. In such a state it will, if mixed with burnt rubbish from the garden fire, and sweepings from a potting shed, be suitable for applying when the drills are drawn. In any state, however, I believe that manure for Potatoes is best trenched in. Artificial manures yield crops of fine quantity and quality when the ground is thoroughly cultivated, and so well have I been satisfied with the result of applying carefully blended mixtures, and so convenient are these where yard manure of the right quality is difficult to get, that I have had no hesitation in trusting to them absolutely. I could name several mixtures that have given admirable yields of produce, but the following are perhaps the pick:-

No. 1.

3 1/2 parts of superphosphate of lime

2 parts of kainit

1 1/2 parts of sulphate of ammonia

No. 2.

3 parts of superphosphate

1 1/2 parts of sulphate of potash

1 1/2 parts of nitrate of soda

1 part of steamed bone flour

In each case they should be well mixed and applied at the rate of 7 lb. to 10 lb. per square rod (30 1/4 square yards), preferably in winter, but I have applied them in the drills at planting time with satisfactory results, and this is a very convenient plan. I have more than once been told, in each case by gentlemen who grow all their Potatoes in the study, with a pen for a spade, and an inkpot for a trench, that the quantities recommended are too great, and that 3 lb. per square rod will give equally good results. In inkpots it may do; in the garden it does not. There are two main reasons why people fail with artificials - the first and greatest is that owing to the facility with which these fertilisers can be got into the ground, the soil is only half cultivated; the second is that not half enough is used. To succeed, the same good spade-work must be brought into play that yields success when dung is the manurial factor, and fair quantities must be used. One point more: We are often advised to use our phosphatic and potassic fertilisers in winter, and our nitrogenous ones at the time of the first earthing. I leaned to the plan myself once, but I have abandoned it, for reasons that seem to me to be sound and sufficient: (1) The application is very liable to be forgotten when the right moment comes; (2) it is not in any way superior to dressing at planting time.