We have often, in the spring, heard the cry, "Why don't my flower-plants come up? The seeds are of no account. The seed man has cheated me," etc., etc. We generally listen to such complaints with as much grace as we have, knowing all the time that the fault is generally, not in the seed, or the seed man, but in the would-be cultivator. The principal reasons, " why the seed will not come up " are:

First - The ground is not of the right kind, or has not been properly prepared.

Second - There is not warmth enough to cause the seed to sprout.

Third - The seeds were planted too deep.

But very often the seeds sprout, and yet the little plants fail to grow and mature The following are the reasons:

The ground, as before, is not of the right kind, or is lumpy, or otherwise in poor condition.

The ground dries and bakes in the sun, whereby the delicate plants are dried up and destroyed.

The plants, if covered with glass, are permitted to get too hot, and are burned up.

To avoid these difficulties, see to it, in the first place, that the soil is suitable, and in proper condition. Select a rich mellow loam, sandy enough to keep from baking. Thoroughly rotted chip manure, mixed with earth and fine sand, or old earthy stable manure, with sand or ashes, or loamy earth from the woods mixed, if necessary, with sand or ashes, will generally answer the purpose. Whatever ingredients are used, recollect that the soil must be rich, mellow and non-baking in the sun.

Having this sort of soil, see next that it is without lumps, chips, or gravel. It will be best to pass it through sieve, especially the part that is to form the upper part of the bed. A common corn-meal sieve will answer the purpose. In covering small seed it will be well to sift the soil over them through a hair or thin cloth sieve.