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.
Carrots thinned out 4 inches apart will be enough for drawing young, but 8 to 12 inches in good ground is not too much for the larger-growing kinds. Beet will do well at 8 inches apart. Parsnips we thin to 15 inches between each plant; when allowed to remain too thick, the tops are liable to decay. Celery may now be pricked out without delay. Shade them often till they are growing freely, and give plenty of water. Moist rotten dung 4 inches thick will do well for pricking out on. An inch or two of fine soft soil on the surface is necessary for the young roots to be planted in. We give the usual caution not to "firm" the necks of the seedlings instead of the roots. Make ridges for planting out earlier crops, which may be wide enough for three or four rows, though many prefer one row only to a ridge; the space may be wide or narrow accordingly. Though many growers prefer only 8 inches between each plant, we believe as heavy a crop can be realised when a foot is allowed between each plant, and the quality will be very much better. Lettuce, French Beans, Turnips, or Dwarf Peas can be grown on the tops of the ridges; and a row of tall Peas at each side of the plot is a good practice, as Celery likes a little shade when plenty of water is not at hand.
Abundance of water may be given at all times; and if the manure placed in the trenches is not extra good, abundance of manure-water will do great things. Broccolis of the early and autumn kinds may be sown for succession. Walcheren and Snow's especially will be useful. Cauliflowers should be planted out before they become stunted in the seed-bed. Wood-ashes and soot placed by the roots of each plant in process of planting will help to keep "clubbing" in check. This practice is useful with all such plants. Lettuce may be thinned out, and the best of the thinnings planted on cool ground in a shady position. Sow a good breadth for summer crops, to be likewise thinned. Plenty of manure and well-worked ground are necessary to give crispness to Lettuces. Fill every space that can be spared with Brussels Sprouts, Kale, Savoys, Broccoli, Cabbage, etc. The quantities can only be regulated by the demand for each kind. Plenty of Kale and Brussels Sprouts are of great service when winters are severe. The above, except Cabbage, may all be planted into neatly-drawn drills 2 feet apart, and the same distance in the rows. Cabbage may be planted thickly, and the crop reduced to every alternate plant, using those pulled out for greens in autumn if required.
Savoys generally are wide enough apart at 18 inches each way. We always make a puddle with a little soot, red-lead, earth, and water, dipping in the roots and stems before planting. This, with a good soaking, is all we require to give them, except plenty of surface-stirring with the hoe. The roots get into the deeply-trenched ground, where drought cannot reach them. Vegetable Marrows, Gourds, Ridge Cucumbers, and Tomatoes, prepared as formerly advised, may be put in their bearing-quarters from the third week in the month to the first week of June. Protection with handlights, etc, after planting, till the plants are growing freely, is of great importance when plenty of fine produce is wanted. In Scotland and north of England Tomatoes require walls for training and fruiting the plants on. The Orangefield does well in pot, and requires no training. We prefer training the free-growing kinds with one stem running like a rope, rubbing off every lateral as it appears, saving the bunches of flowers which appear at every joint. In the southern English counties all the above are grown with as little trouble as Potatoes. Though ridges of manure are thrown up for Cucumbers, and covered with good soil, we have had them do equally well in common borders.
A start with warm manure and handlights brings them into bearing quickly. New Zealand Spinach does well in any open piece of ground. A few plants raised in pots and planted out will give a large supply, and saves labour and ground in keeping up supplies of round-leaved Spinach. Keep up a supply of small Salad by sowing small pinches frequently, and giving plenty of water in dry weather. Cucumbers and Melons will now require less attention than they did earlier in the season; but careful attention, with air and water, is necessary, keeping the shoots thin and pinching out the tops of Cucumbers above the fruit. They should not be allowed to bear too many. Melons should be set all at one time, keeping the structure dry and airy till the fruit is like hen's eggs; then give a good watering (at a temperature of 80°) all over the bed, keeping the collars of the plants dry. Keep linings well made up, to keep up the temperature at night from G5° to 70°. Some allow it much higher, but they do well at 70°.
Fruit-trees will require to be disbudded as formerly advised, but doing it only by degrees, and not suddenly exposing the fruit, which might cause much dropping off. Stop gross-growing shoots, or take them off if they can be spared. Use the engine or syringe freely to keep the foliage clean and healthy. When the fruit is swelling and the leaves firm, the whole of the under sides of them can be sprinkled with water in which 2 oz. of hellebore powder to the gallon has been mixed. A little soft-soap mixed with it will cause it to stick better. A pipe syringe, with the finger pressed on it so that the liquid comes out as spray, prevents it from running off. We use this extensively and with great success for wall-trees, as well as gooseberry and other fruit bushes, for the prevention of caterpillar, etc. Fruit-trees lately planted may require a good soaking of water, and some dry soil thrown over the surface of the roots to prevent evaporation. Better to give plenty of water and have done with it, than frequent dribblings, which only keep the soil cool and prevent free growth.
All shrubs lately planted require at least one good soaking - mulching them is also of great service. Keeping them from being blown about by wind is indispensable to their wellbeing; stakes and ropes at equal distances, all round large trees, are the most secure method we adopt. Many large Hollies, Rhododendrons, Yews, Boxes, and Pinuses, are doing well with us, which were lifted during the past season, and have only had one thorough watering; but a heavy mulching of rotten leafy manure was given immediately afterwards. One large Holly 40 feet high, lifted from a rocky piece of ground with a small ball, but with well-cared-for roots, had a cartload of mulching to itself, and two men carried water to the roots for an hour. The tree is pushing into fresh growth as if it had never been moved.