It has been our practice for many years to keep our whole stock of Pine plants as thoroughly at rest as possible from the middle of November till after the first week of February. There may be exceptional circumstances in which this rule may be departed from with benefit; such, for instance, as when, from any cause, the stock of plants of any size are less or more backward than is desired.

These, if kept near the glass, and plunged thinly in a pit with a direct south aspect, may be kept growing all winter in a temperature of 65°, with air according to the state of the weather; but, excepting plants swelling fruit, and those being started into fruit, the more they are at rest the better we have always found the ultimate results. In cold weather all young stock and plants that are full-sized should not have more heat than 55°, and when mild, 60°. The less fire-heat applied, the less water required; and the less water required to keep the plants in health the better. The plunging material used for Pines may not be of the very greatest consequence, but some materials are much more convenient than others for the purpose of plunging. In houses where the bottom-heat is got from hot-water pipes in air-chambers, we have used Oak-leaves, spent bark, sifted ashes, and sawdust. All but the sifted ashes answer very well, and we never gave it a second trial. The operation of plunging in Oak-leaves is threefold more laborious than in bark or sawdust, and there is the constant bother of making them up, for they shrink from the pots and allow the heat to escape without doing any good.

The bark we have always thought a material that Pines liked; and not much can be said against it, except that it is difficult to get in many places, rots quickly, and breeds worms and wood-lice at a great rate. We have used sawdust in our fruiting - house for some years, and know of nothing against it. It looks clean, is easily plunged in, keeps close to the pots, and does not subside much in a year. This season we have had as finely swelled Pines plunged in it as could be desired; some of the fruits ran to 9 lb., others 8 lb., and one fruit, seven pips deep only, swelled till it weighed 8 lb. all but one ounce - the heaviest seven-pip Pine we have ever grown. Sawdust is easily got in most places, lasts two years without breeding fungi, but if kept for a third year it becomes a trouble in the matter of fungi. A stock of soil should be got in readiness this month for shifting all plants that require it, in February. A rather light loam, with all the finer particles either beaten or sifted out of it, is best for Pines. This, with an 8-inch potful of bone - meal, and a handful or two of dry soot to each barrow-load of soil, is the mixture we prefer. Keep a watchful eye on early Queens expected to start this and early next month.

Whenever the fruit is detected in the centre of each plant, let it have as much water at 85° as will wet the whole ball, but do not be over-free in watering till the plants show fruit. Keep the temperature at 70° at night, when mild the bottom-heat at 90°; when cold let the heat be 5° less. Keep all young stock quiet for another month at least. As soon as fully swelled fruits show signs of colouring, and are moderately damp at the root, do not give any more water this month till the fruit are cut, or they may begin to decay in the centre before being fully ripe.