This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I notice that several of the Horticultural Societies make it a condition that Chrysanthemums for exhibition must be pot grown, and that a question arises where plants are exhibited in pots, whether they have been pot grown the entire season or simply lifted from the open ground and established in pots. I can not understand why such conditions should be made. The practical issue is, to get the best plant established in a pot at the time of exhibition, and if a Chrysanthemum, or any other plant, can be better grown by being planted out for three months and lifted and potted, and thus save labor and make a plant as good or better, why may it not be done? Hardly any plant cultivated is of easier growth or requires less time and skill to make a specimen than the Chrysanthemum, and it seems to me a' useless waste of labor to carry them through the season in pots if they can be as well or better done by planting them out and potting up.
Jersey City Heights, March 6th, 1884.
[It depends wholly on the object of the society whether it desires to encourage a good plant grower, or a good plant. If the object be to get the best plant at the smallest possible cost and labor, Mr. Henderson is right. It is a good object, and should be encouraged by liberal premiums. But skill in growing plants in pots is also a worthy object of encouragement, and deserves the support of Horticultural Societies. No one suggested that lifted and newly potted plants should not be encouraged. This was certainly not Mr. Wooding's idea. The idea is that there should be two classes. There should be separate offers for plants wholly pot grown, and for plants grown wholly or partially in the ground. This is the idea we endorsed, and still endorse. - Ed. G. M].
Mr. John Stewart, gardener to Mr. B. Bullock, Consho-hocken, Pa., writes: " I again write a few lines in regard to the mis-statements made by Mr. Wooding, in January number, and endorsed by the editor in the same and subsequent issues. Mr. Wooding stated that Mr. Bullock's gardener ' seemed to have plants two or three years old taken up out of the open ground just previous to the show, and potted in twelve or fourteen-inch pots * * * No one will call lifting plants from open ground, skilful pot culture.' And the editor in the same issue makes the same mistake in the words: ' Some plants at the Pennsylvania show were five feet round, but not pot-grown.' Now, as a matter of fact, all the plants in both collections were pot-grown. These errors have never been rectified. One word, in conclusion, in regard to the possibility of growing better plants in the open ground, and then lifting. I venture the assertion that it cannot be done. To come nearest perfection, it is necessary that the chrysanthemum should be pot-grown from its infancy.
It is not possible to have as fine flowers by growing in the open ground and lifting after the buds had set.
[Mr. Stewart seems not to have noticed that the mistake was corrected. He will find his own letter with the correction, at page 96, March number.-Ed. G. M].