Frosty weather in January, clear and dry, is what is most desired both for the benefit of field and garden, and all who have their vacant soil thrown up in ridges will in most cases have reason to be thankful for the cultural advantage of the pulverising frost. But it is often experienced in damp localities that soil of a tenacious character is better adapted for seed sowing and planting when turned up as it is wanted. These circumstances are peculiar, and can only be ascertained by personal observation. Trenching should be done to some extent every year. In very heavy wet land it may be done as often as circumstances will allow. A well-trenched garden seldom suffers either from wet or drought. Drainage is, however, always an important matter, and in extra severe winters the well-drained land will show many advantages over that which retains the moisture. If snow should be lying on the ground it would be well not to dig or trench it down, except the soil should be very shallow, gravelly, and poor: in such cases we never saw snow do any harm. When land is wet and thawing, it should not be trodden.

Manure may be wheeled to all spaces which require enriching; but that work should not be done at random, but some arrangement made for guiding the operations of the coming season, giving manure in proportion to the poverty and shallowness of the ground, and according to the requirements of the crop to be grown on the space. Decide on the extent of ground required for each kind of vegetable. Experience of the demand, however, is the real guide: we would say, have abundance of everything; crop closely and in quick succession, and never have ground lying idle when it can be under crop. Small gardens in proportion to the demand of a family require extra care in cropping them, so that the supply is as large as possible, and that there should be no glut of one thing and scarcity of another: change often, if only for the sake of system. "Well-cultivated gardens give no cause for fear of failure by allowing one crop of the same species to succeed the previous one. Trenching is an effectual remedy for this; but as an example, we would not let a crop of Carrots be grown where a crop of the same root had been previously destroyed by grubs or wire - worms.

We would not give manure for Carrots, Beet, or Parsnips, to the amount that would be suitable for Cabbage. Rank manure gives coarse, badly-flavoured roots; poor dry land gives tough, stringy produce; ground deeply trenched and well broken suits all roots and tubers. If manure is very rank, we prefer trenching it down in quantity under the second spit; but rotted manure, mild and wholesome, may be placed under the top spit. "When ground will allow the necessary "barrowing," manure should be wheeled on vacant spaces and covered with soil to prevent wasting of its virtues: ridges a yard high, run across the plots, answer well when it is to be turned in at a future period. Potatoes do well in ground which has been thrown up into ridges, and some fresh soil (turfy loam is excellent) placed over the tubers when planted. On tenacious land, where disease is often an unwelcome visitor, rank manure is productive of the evil, especially when the Potatoes are late kinds. The thawing of such vegetables as Celery should be of a gradual character: leave the litter placed over the plants as protection till the frost is gone and the ground thawed. Then the litter or fern used for protection may be removed. Laurel or Spruce branches, in the absence of better material, is useful as protection.

Pieces stuck among early Peas or Cauliflower plants act as a useful protection: quick thawing is the difficulty which tender vegetation cannot easily stand against. There should be stores of all kinds of hardy roots under cover sufficient to the demand during frosty weather; or if it is preferable to dig Horse Radish, Parsnips, Jerusalem Artichokes, Chicory, Scorzonera, Salsafy, or Potatoes fresh out of the ground as they are wanted, a covering of litter, half-rotten leaves, fern, or other material should be placed over the beds to keep frost out of the ground.

The seed stores should now be overhauled, and those of value, new or old, should be noted; and when the seed-list is made out, superfluous quantity should be avoided. Old favourite sorts should not be discarded for others which may prove to be fine only in name. A few novelties sent out by respectable men should have a trial. The store for seed should be vermin - proof, well cleaned, and if necessary to eradicate beetles, spiders, etc, a fumigating of sulphur may be made. In severe or wet weather seeds of choice kinds saved during the past season may be cleaned. Stakes may be made, and all the ordinary items attended to under cover, which, when done, will do much to facilitate labour during the busy season.

If weather will allow, the present season is a good one to prepare early borders for choice early crops. Where there are no borders under the shelter of walls or other fences, it is a good system to raise slopes facing the south, and board them up behind, or leave them as spans facing north and south: for early crops the latter aspect is of great advantage for early vegetables, such as Horn Carrot (French Nantes are favourites), Early Radishes, Dutch Turnips, Lettuce, Spinage for first crop, Early Potatoes, or anything to come in early. Peas and Beans may be sown when weather will allow: a mixture of wood - ashes with red - lead sprinkled over the seed will do much to ward off the attacks of mice or rats. Peas sown wide apart, to be staked in due time, give shelter to other early crops which may be sown between the rows. Broad Beans or Spinach between the Peas answer well for present crops. Peas of two or three kinds may be sown in boxes with turfy soil in the bottoms, and covered with charcoal-dust, fine light soil, or old Mushroom - dung. They may be protected when frost appears, otherwise all the light and air possible may be given them.

It is common to raise first crops of Peas in pots, tiles, strips of turf, and by other means, placing the seed in moist heat till they have grown into green foliage; but when never placed in heat at all, and grown with all the light and air possible, they are more easily managed when turned out. This applies to Broad Beans and all other crops brought forward for earliest supplies. Asparagus may have manure placed over the rows - that which is to be lifted should be well protected. In low-lying localities there is a danger of destroying Asparagus by heavy close coverings. Prepare leaves and manure for beds by mixing them well together, preparatory for forcing early vegetables. Lettuce and Endive for present use may be protected by hoops and mats: a frame placed over a portion is good protection. Pot Mint and Tarragon, the forcing of Rhubarb, Seakale, Chicory, and Potatoes may have the same attention as recommended last month, keeping up steady supplies as demand requires. A small mushroom-bed may be made often in preference to large beds at long periods. The frequent formation of small beds is more likely to meet the supply regular and proportionate. Tomatoes may be kept growing under all the light at command, giving air whenever the weather will allow it. Cold frosty winds must be avoided.

Those supplying a few fruit must not be over-watered, or kept in a close high temperature: rotting at the collars often happens when water has been used freely at the surface, while the roots at base of soil have been starved. Mustard, Cress, Thread Onions, and other small salads may have attention by sowing often, as formerly recommended. Always let them have airy quarters with plenty of light for some days before they are sent in for use. This gives flavour and crispness. Potatoes may be sprouted in gentle warmth preparatory for planting in the frames or pits. Those growing in pots must not be coddled or kept far from the light; neither will they stand cutting frosty winds. French Beans may now be sown for successions every ten or twelve days. Withhold the syringe when they are flowering, and sow Carrots of Horn kinds on mild hotbeds: sow Radishes between the Carrots.

M. T.