This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Stone-fruits will now require much attention. To keep the foliage clean and growths regular, frequent syringings, judicious disbudding, and stopping are necessary. An active hand accustomed to the work will do much in a few hours. The best shoots near the main branches should be selected, and most of the others taken off or stopped, leaving the top one to grow longer. Those which are selected for next year may be stopped at the length they are to be pruned back to, and allowed to grow on again. Crowding is injurious to the present crop, and much against next year's supply. If tying and nailing is objected to, the old practice of placing small twigs (such as willows in lengths) with their ends under the main branches across the young growths answers very well, and may be done neatly and very quickly. Many old practices are often unnecessarily despised. Watering at the roots, when necessary, should not be neglected. The collars of the trees are often drenched while the feeders are starved. This practice is productive of many evils, besides wasting time. When watering is done, the surface-soil should be well broken up, to let the moisture enter freely.
Pears, Apples, and Cherries (except Morellos, which require young wood renewed annually) should be gone over at intervals, taking off the stronger laterals. The tops of the trees (or where the stronger wood is) may be gone over first, then the middle, and lastly the bottom. Some pull the shoots off altogether, which is not so objectionable on trees with little vigour; but this practice with robust growers is liable to cause the buds which should fruit next year to start; better to have some shortening back in winter. Thinning of all kinds of fruits should have attention by degrees. Over-cropping gives quantity of little value, except for kitchen purposes. Peaches from trees, where the crop is too heavy, are insipid and unfit to eat. Colour is very desirable, and is generally accompanied with good quality. Deep-red or crimson next the sun, and more or less yellow or yellowish green near the stalk, are two important features on well-managed Peaches. Fruit-bushes and standard trees might be improved (where time can be spared) by thinning out the stronger and crowded shoots.
Rasps are not easily injured with mulching or water at the roots.
Bedding-plants, when placed in their proper quarters, may require a good soaking of water. This is generally less needful by Geraniums than Verbenas and other plants; free well-broken surfaces will do much to save watering. Dahlias and other robust plants do well with manure-water. After they are once started into free growth, it is difficult to overdo them if soil is well drained and not very heavy. Annuals should be planted out in the mixed borders, arranging the colours with taste, and keeping the taller kinds at back. Stocks and Asters may now be planted out in good ground. More Stock-seed may be sown for blooming late, and potting for winter. Every portion of the flower-garden should now assume an orderly and clean appearance: well-rolled walks kept smooth and clean, grass regularly mown and swept, edgings trimmed, and all the plants kept regular to height, are operations which will require very frequent attention, where high keeping is desired. Syringe Roses frequently before they are in flower; water thoroughly at the roots, and look after suckers on the budded and grafted plants.
The work in greenhouses and other plant structures will now be abundant - watering, syringing, shifting growing plants to larger pots as they require it, which is easily known by the pots getting filled with roots. Balsams, Cockscombs, Asters, and similar plants, should not be allowed to become pot-bound, as they would stop growing and flower prematurely. The starving system is seldom practised now by experienced plantsmen. Stake, top, and tie out specimens for autumn blooming. There is little required by plants coming into bloom except plenty of water, fresh air, and being kept clean. Azaleas, Epacris, Camellias, and the earlier-flowering Heaths, (such as Hyemalis, Autumnalis, etc.), require to be more freely aired and hardened, preparatory to turning them out. Other kinds of Heaths do best in cold pits or frames turned to the north, and tilted up above ground, so that abundance of air may pass among them at all times, the lights being only used to throw off heavy rains. If mildew should make its appearance, dusting sulphur over it will be a preventive. Primulas may be repotted as they fill their pots with roots; light soil, such as leaf-mould, sand, and a little loam, suits them. Keep them near the glass, water carefully, avoiding too much damp, and shade from strong sun.
If seed is wanted from Cinerarias, the best kinds only should be kept - named kinds should be kept growing to get cuttings from. Young early plants should be kept cool, and not exposed to much sun. Liliums should be regularly staked as they grow, and abundance of water given. Auriculas will now require to be kept from heavy rains. Pinks, Picotees, etc, in pots, will require attention with stakes, surface-stirring, etc.; a damp unhealthy atmosphere would soon destroy them. Window plants will now be growing freely, and will require plenty of water, sprinkling them overhead to wash off dust, fresh surfacing as the soil gets exhausted. Prepared manures are excellent for this kind of gardening. M. T.