This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
The seed should be gathered when ripe, and we prefer to sow it at once in pots well drained, and filled to within an inch of the rim with a compost of two thirds rich yellow loam, and one third sandy peat. We then put on a little of the same kind of soil, but finer and dry, make the surface even by patting it with the bottom of a flowerpot, scatter the seed over it rather thinly, and cover with a quarter of an inch of fine soil, the least possible depth being left to hold water. The pot is then placed on a shelf in the stove, and it is not watered until the beginning of February, when the soil is moistened by a gentle watering. We then plunge the pots in a hot-bed and encourage growth, keeping the soil moist. The pot remains in the hot-bed as long as there is any heat, and the soil is preserved in a moist condition, and a good heat is given so as to keep the young plants in a growing state as long as possible, but giving a short rest by diminishing the supply of water in November, December, and January. In February they are again placed in a hot-bed, and forwarded in a brisk heat with plenty of moisture, and when they have made a growth, which they will do by June, we pot them off singly in pots about four times the diameter of the bulbs, and so that the bulbs are buried to the neck.
They are again returned to the hot' bed, giving water abundantly and atmospheric moisture, keeping them well supplied with moisture up to October, when the supply is diminished; but so long as there is foliage, give enough water to keep it from flagging. The pots are top-dressed in January, removing the old soil down to the roots, and it is replaced with rich rather strong loam from rotted turves. Do not disturb the roots or interfere with the ball, but if the drainage be defective rectify it. Plunge the pots in a hot-bed, encourage growth with water as required and atmospheric moisture, and in May shift the plants into a larger size of pot, not disturbing the roots or ball beyond removing the crocks and any soil not adhering to the roots. Return the plants to the hotbed and keep them growing as long as they appear disposed to do so, giving a good supply of water; and when growth ceases, remove them from the hot-bed by degrees and set them on a shelf in the full sun in the stove, giving water so as to prevent the leaves flagging, diminishing it, however, when these show signs going off, and keep the soil rather dry during the winter. These plants by the third year will have strong bulbs for flowering, and the treatment is then the same as for old plants.
If inconvenient to sow the seed when ripe, it may be kept in a dry place and sown early in February. We have kept it in silver sand in a flower-pot in a stove until February, and we can not say which is the better plan; both proved good. - Cottage Gardener, Chrysanthemums as they come into flower require plenty of water and liquid manure to produce fine blooms.