In order to have ripe Pines in May and June, a number of the earliest Queens that have been kept comparatively dry and cool for the last ten weeks or more, and that are likely to show fruit without making much growth, should be placed in warm quarters by the middle of the month. Their pots should be plunged to the rim in a bottom-heat that does not exceed 95°, or fall below 85°, and where the plants will get every blink of sunshine. Presuming that, according to former Calendars, these plants have been kept at 60° at night, the temperature should now be from 65° to 70°, according as the weather is mild or cold, with 10° more by day before giving air. If the nights be cold and the days bright, let the temperature be regulated accordingly, applying the minimum night and maximum day temperature. The plants, having been kept dry at the root for some time, should have a soaking of water at 85°, and be kept steadily moist. In cases where the plants show any signs of continuing to grow instead of fruiting, do not give so much water. The atmosphere should be moist, but not to such an extent as will cause drip to condense on the roof of flattish pits and fall into the centres of any of the plants.

This is generally a cold month, and it is not advisable to increase the temperatures of succession-pits. Be content with 55° at night; and when with sun the day temperature rises above 70°, give air for a short time, always shutting up early, so as to make it unnecessary to fire so hard to keep the heat up in the early part of the night. With hard firing, both the atmosphere and the soil must be watched, and not allowed to become parchingly dry, or the result may be that young stock well rooted in small pots may start into fruit instead of growth when shifted the next and following months. This is particularly applicable to plants supplied with bottom-heat from hot pipes. Beds of leaves to receive those that will be shifted a month or six weeks hence should now be prepared; so that any violent heating may have subsided to a safe point by the time the pots are plunged in them. Sometime during the course of this month get the soil to be used for potting next month prepared and ] put into some dry place where it will get warm by the time it is wanted: a moderately light loam that has been stacked eight or nine months, with all the finer particles of soil shaken out of it, is best, where the loam is of a heavy nature. Mix pounded charcoal and sand with it to keep it open.

All pits that can be covered with frigi-domo or mats at night in severe weather should be so dealt with; it not only saves fire, but is much better for the plants: most especially is this applicable to Pines now swelling off, and that do not make much progress at a lower temperature than 70°.

Pine Forcing #1

Early Queens from which ripe fruits are required in May and June, and that have been subjected to increased top and bottom heat as directed in our Calendar for January, should, if all goes rightly, have the embryo fruits discernible in their centres by the end of this month. Probably the cold weather, and consequent more moderate temperature, may keep them a little later. Be that as it may, let each plant be examined, and as soon as the fruit is seen, give them as much weak guano-water as will thoroughly wet the ball if they are dry. But in the case of any plants that do not show fruit, it is best to withhold water until they do start, or they may make a growth before they start, and consequently be retarded beyond the time they are wanted. The sun having more power now, and there being more chances of shutting up with sun-heat, the temperatures in mild nights may run up to 75° at 10 p.m., allowing it to drop 5° or 8° before daylight. But should cold frosty nights prevail, be satisfied with 5° less. The atmosphere may be kept more moist - not by steaming the pipes, but by sprinkling .the paths, etc, from whence it evaporates more gradually.

As daylight increases, fruit that started late in October and early in November may be pushed on move briskly, shutting up the house early, so as to run the heat up over 80° for a time, always accompanied with a corresponding amount of air moisture. The bottom-heat for these should be kept at from 85° to 90°, and the soil be regularly and moderately moist, applying weak guano-water every time they require watering. Early autumn suckers that are in 6 and 7 inch pots should now be examined; and if their balls are at all matted with healthy roots, they should be put into their fruiting-pots by the end of the month. If at all dry, water them at once, and keep them moderately moist; and when shifted, see that they are in a medium condition in this respect. The soil for potting these should be put into some place to warm and become rather dry before it is used. It should consist of a moderately light loam that has been stacked for sis months or more, and from which most of the fine earthy matter has been shaken. To every 2 bushels of soil add an 8-inch potful of bone-meal and a 6 - inch potful of dry fresh soot. Later suckers will now require more water, a moister atmosphere, and a slightly higher temperature.

The night temperature may be advanced to 65°; and if the bottom-heat is below 80°, let means be taken to increase it by 8° or 10°. Keep plants intended to start into fruit in March still rather cool and dry.