One of the driest months of March we ever remember, and up to the 10th of April, has passed. Though very trying for both vegetable and animal life, it certainly was in favour of advancing work, and arrears in most cases will be well brought forward. Broccoli being early cleared off after its destruction by frost, has given an opportunity of getting extra space cropped with Potatoes, or whatever may be desired. Notwithstanding all our fears, we observe most seeds coming up. Strong clay land, which has gone together like rock, and cracked, has been dusted with fine soil, soot, and ashes, which will act as protection from drought and slugs, and stimulate the seedlings as well. Insects and slugs must have every preventive used against them, as there seems to be a great scarcity of birds to clear them off, numbers having been killed by the severity of the frost. Work of every kind will now increase; weeds especially will put in an unwelcome appearance, and must be attacked promptly, as destroying them when young is easier than when they get established in the ground. Let gardening be ever so well done in other respects, if slovenly and weedy, it may be considered destitute of what is most pleasant and attractive.

It is well to make sure that all crops are vegetating, and if it is found that any failures have taken place, make an effort to meet the difficulty by sowing at once : most things may yet be sown or planted with tolerable success. Onions may be begged from any neighbour when their thinning has taken place. They may be planted well soaked with water, and when the surface is dry enough, the hoe may be run between the rows. One of the best crops we ever had was treated in this way, the plants having travelled miles, and been unduly delayed by rail. Parsnips can be easily had in the same way. Leeks and Parsley, which do well when transplanted, can also be raised easily from thinnings if one's own seeds have failed.

Frost during the period above referred to having ranged from 8° to 12°, is likely to have left its unwelcome mark in many districts. Artichokes (Globe kinds) will now show if they are to grow or not. It will be well to plant suckers if they can be had, or sow seed to raise plants for transplanting. They require rich, deeply trenched, and well-drained soil to do them well. Asparagus may now be in full bearing, and it is well to cut the produce systematically all over the ground, taking large and small, which may be sized and separated, and tied into bundles for use. Sprinklings of salt after each cutting will help the crop and keep weeds in check. Sow broad Beans, Peas, French Beans, and Scarlet Runners at least twice during the month. Champion of England, Ne Plus Ultra, Veitch's Perfection, and The Baron are good kinds for present sowing; so also are Telephone and Telegraph : stake forward lots. All the foregoing do well on rich, deep land, and not crowded. If the seed is covered with fine ashes and leaf-mould, mixed and mulched (when they come into bearing) with manure, they will not readily succumb to mildew or be burnt up with sun. Beet may be sown at beginning of month. The ground for these roots should be free from manure, but should not be poor and sandy, as some affirm.

Such soil gives "stringy" ! produce. Early crops of Beet may require thinning : where blanks may have occurred, let them be planted up well, soaking the drills in which they are placed. Sow all kinds of Broccoli for successions. Brussels Sprouts may be ready for planting out: they should be placed in drills 2 feet apart, and as much between the plants in the rows. Plant out Cauliflower, and sow more for succession. They require rich soil and early positions to get them in quickly; and a quantity of plants of the same age, planted behind a wall or hedge, will make a succession to them : better to have lots of such crops coming on in small successions than large gluts, to be succeeded by a scarcity. Plant Cabbage thickly, if required, on very rich ground. This crop on poor gritty soil is tough and worthless. Carrots may be thinned and well hoed : a young crop to draw when small and tender may be sown as circumstances may require. Celery may be often planted out for a first supply when ready to transplant: give them plenty of moisture at their roots to start with, and when growth is started mulch over the roots with rotten manure : mowings of grass may be used sparingly. Shading may be used to begin with.

Lettuce, Turnips, Radishes, Spinach, and all small salads, may be sown between other crops every ten days, or weekly, where such are required; and we think these are the most difficult crops to have at all times in abundance. If ground is dry, a deluge with water the night before it is to be used will make it easily worked. Lettuce may be thinned to 9 inches apart each way, and the thinnings planted in the shade for succession. Salsafy, Scorzonera, and Chicory may now be sown. The two former may be treated as Beetroots : the latter may be grown anywhere. Early thinning of crops; free, open surfaces well hoed; water in good soakings when it is really wanted; and vermin kept in check, - are matters of considerable importance at this season. Tomatoes should be hardened gradually, never stopping growth entirely, and planted out at end of month or early in June. Mushrooms are not so easily kept from maggots at this season. Beds formed out in cool positions, well protected by litter or straw mats, answer well for growing this much-valued crop. Capsicums do well in frames planted out, or along back walls of pits.

Ridge-Cucumbers, Vegetable-Marrows, and Gherkins may be planted on beds of warm manure, leaves, or other material, covered with good soil, and protected by "protectors" or hand-lights. Weather is often deceptive during May, and no risk should be run. M. T.