This section is from the book "The Gardener V3", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
Believing that a few of the simplest directions in regard to the cultivation of small gardens will prove of use to a large and increasing number of your readers, knowing that very many of them inhabiting suburban or country villas with small gardens attached to them (but who do not employ professional gardeners) are often at a loss how to proceed, and in consequence do not get the amount of pleasure out of them that they might, - I beg to offer a course of papers for their assistance. I will not say anything on the laying out of grounds, as the proper disposal of ground into kitchen quarters, shrubbery, flower-beds, and the levelling of ground, making of walks, etc, require to be done by persons accustomed to such work if it is to be done properly; and, moreover, rules might prove of no use in a majority of instances. Therefore I consider the space will be better occupied with cultural directions, such as the preparation of the ground, the selection of seeds, the season for sowing, the manner of sowing, and all the routine of generally cultivated kitchen-garden crops for one twelvemonth. The intention is to aim at this in the simplest possible manner consistent with complete directions how to cultivate everything, so as to secure the greatest possible success.
It may perhaps not be practicable to time the papers so that each as it appears in 'The Gardener' will be that suitable for any given month. It is also my intention to give as a sequel a few chapters on the most popular flowers of the day suitable for small gardens, as well as directions for the successful management of the greenhouse, garden-frame, etc. It will, then, be seen that the programme is pretty extensive, and when completed it is hoped that it will be one to which amateurs may refer in after years. At the same time, it is hoped that even professionals may peruse these papers with profit, and more especially young men who may be entering places for the first time as it often happens that hints to those whose attention, in the probationary stage of their career, has been too closely directed to plant and fruit growing under glass, or to the more strictly ornamental departments, may prove of value, as not a few find kitchen-gardening the weak point in their professional knowledge.
Our selection of seeds will be very short, as nothing tends more to perplex the inexperienced than overwhelming lists.
As the first paper appears in January, I shall begin with work suitable for this month, and shall endeavour to do the same for the first few months of the year at least.