By the time these notes are seen in the ' Gardener,' many Strawberry-growers will be thinking more of gathering their crops than cultivating their plants; but details of the latter should closely follow the operation of the former; and it will generally be found that July, August, and September are important months for Strawberry-culture. It is then that old plantations must be restricted in growth, good young plants secured, and fresh plantations formed. All the best Strawberries in the garden here are had from plants from six to twelve years old. Indeed they are so old that every year we think of rooting them out and throwing them away; but they always fruit so well again that all thoughts of the kind are given up. Some growers may differ from us in keeping such old plants, as we know there are many who renew their Strawberry plantations every two or three years; and in some cases we think this wrong, as it gives much, labour and not much better crops than would be had from the same plants were they allowed to grow on the same place for many years; and when established plants are bearing a full crop annually, the young ones always being brought forward are not doing anything like this, as two years or so passes before they come into full bearing, and a full crop for one year only is about all that is had from them under such a sys tern.

I feel very certain, from experience and observation, that this is not the best mode of growing Strawberries in either large or small quantities, and would advise as a rule that they be left so long as they bear well, whether this be for a period of six, eight, or ten years. At the end of any of these times the crop, so far as number goes, will be better than it was in their best juvenile days, but the fruit individually may not be so large. This, I think, is the only objection which can be raised against old Strawberry plantations; and there is nothing very substantial in it, as we all know that in flavour, which is the weighty point, medium-sized fruits are generally superior to the monstrous samples; and for preserving, the medium-sized are always preferred.

If Strawberry plantations are intended to last in good bearing order for many years, they must be looked to oftener than just when they are in fruit, which in many small gardens is the only time they receive much attention, and before and after they are allowed to become one mass of weeds. Such a state of matters is the surest way to cause degeneracy that any one could possibly practise; and those who have formed ideas of the error of keeping Strawberry plants until they are well up in years from plantations of this kind, should not be too positive in their conclusions, as it is not to such plantations that I refer, but to those which have always been kept clean and free from weeds from their youth upwards, and which receive the same cultural attention as any other permanent crops. In both young and old plantations, weeds will now be inclined to grow freely, and runners will be choking up the parent plants. These, if allowed to remain on after the fruit has been gathered, will do much harm, as they deprive the old plants of much of their strength, shade the main crowns up from the sun, and cause them to be tender and sterile.

When kept clean, free, and open, the reverse of this happens : the crowns develop strongly, and reach that state of maturity which will preserve them through a severe winter, and cause them to fruit early, profusely, and perfectly the following season. It is not any attention which may be paid them a month or two before they fruit next year, but rather their treatment from now on to the end of the next three months, that will be the means of producing a superior crop. Exposing the crowns well now, keeping them free from superfluous runners and weeds, placing a thin coating of manure between the plants where the soil is becoming poor, and hoeing the surface soil occasionally, are a few of the means to be employed to insure success in following years. Plants treated in this way now may want looking to a number of times before the winter, but after that they will be safe, and will need little or no more care until weeds and runners come again about this time next year. Mulching may be done with two objects - one, to improve the soil and plants, the other, to keep the fruit clean; or the two reasons may be combined, and mulch to secure all these benefits, - and in this case September or October is the time to do it.

Some use their grass-cuttings for putting round their Strawberry plants, and others use short straw or hay; and both of these materials answer very well for keeping the fruit from mixing with the soil, but further than this their usefulness does not extend, as there is no fertilising properties connected with such materials to any extent. For this reason we do not care to use such mulchings, but prefer stable-manure lor the purpose. A mixture of straw and droppings is excellent. When put on in autumn, the fertilising parts are well washed down to the roots daring the winter, and only the clean straw remains by fruiting-time. Under this system the surface of the ground about the plants is constantly covered; and this does no harm in wet but great good during dry periods; and hoeing can hardly be done, but hand-weeding may be resorted to.

In forming new plantations, many advantages follow when the plants are carefully prepared previously. All our young Strawberry plants for the open quarters are rooted in small pots in the same way as is done to get young plants for pot-culture. All the strongest runners are layered into 3-inch pots early in July. By August they have formed nice little balls of roots; and then they are planted out, when they receive no check, but proceed at once to grow; and by October they are often as fine plants as many would be at the end of the second year if they were dug up from amongst the old plants in August and planted then, as is the common practice in making new Strawberry-beds. Beds I have said, but this term should not be used, as Strawberry-beds are now out of date. The improved plan, and the one most worthy of being followed, is the style of planting row after row without any formation of bed. 18 inches between the rows, and 1 foot from plant to plant, is a profitable distance at which to plant most sorts. Previous to planting, the ground cannot be too well prepared. Moderately heavy is preferable to light sandy soil. If good, depth is not of so much consequence - from 1 to 2 feet being suitable.

To these depths, or more, it should be trenched, rough manure being placed at the bottom, and good substantial stuff near the surface. In this, growth will be free and lasting. Of kinds, each has his favourite. Ours for early crops is an old sort, which many might laugh at, but with which we have most reason to be pleased - the one we mean is Black Prince. For pot and outdoor culture this variety is an excellent one. None bears more freely, or ripens quicker at midwinter and early spring; and out of doors it is earlier by some weeks than any other sort. Here we have been gathering it from the open border since the 24th of May. The fruit are about the size of the berry of a Gros Colmar Grape when fully swelled, in colour very dark, and flavour superb. For dessert and preserving it is highly valued. Keen's Seedling is another good old sort. President is well worth growing; and James Veitch and Dr Hogg are other useful sorts. Bothwell Bank Prolific, a new sort which we have had lately from Messrs Dicksons & Co., Edinburgh, is the best of all for exhibition purposes, as in size of berry it is enormous, and its other qualities good.

J. Muir.