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.
H. H. Coit, (East Cleve-latjl, O.) We are not aware that any of our nurserymen grow evergreens for sale by the thousand. Traders in native evergreens are in the habit of supplying large quantities of the most popular sorts - such as Balsam Fir and Spruce, at about $4 to $6 per 100, one to two feet high - packed in crates. The larger number of these trees come from Maine, and a line addressed to Col. Little, Bangor, Me., would probably obtain for you the details of this trade. Your best course regarding foreign evergreens, will be to import them early next fall, from English nurseries. Rivers of Sawbridgeworth, Skirting of Liverpool, and Whitley etc Os-born, Fulham, all deal extensively in these trees. Write for a catalogue with prices, and then send your order through Harnden & Co., N. Y., or any shipping house with whom you can deposit the money - or buy a bill of exchange, and send it in your letter containing the order. The Italian grape you mention, (Pitsiotella) we do not know. J. W. Gray, (New Fairfield, Ct.) Trees are of the best size for transplanting from the woods to the nursery, at from 4 to 6feet. Shorten back the tops well. If they are to be sent a distance, cover the roots with old cotton bagging, and the tops with straw.
When the cotyledon, or two earliest leaves, of the seeds- were fully developed, the sods were moved to their beds. Each sod was lifted with care, a broad trowel or sharp thin spade being the most efficient means for this purpose. The objections urged against this process, because of the sensitiveness of the plants when disturbed, need not obtain in a single instance if the sods: be thick and firm and be not wantonly handled. Four sods were placed in each hill, about twelve or fourteen inches apart, forming the corners of a square, thus affording room for the free extension of the vines. If two plants were growing in a sod, as soon as the vigor of the major plaint was determined, the weaker one was destroyed, allowing four vines to the hill.
Rules for turning plants into open ground will be useful to some of our readers. Always see the soil is thoroughly moist in the pots, if not it is difficult to turn the plants out without breaking the roots, and the old ball of soil will remain dry after frequent waterings. Make the soil thoroughly firm round the roots, for them to strike at once into the fresh soil; if necessary to water the plants after planting, do it with a spout not wetting the soil all over the ground; this only cools the soil without giving the plants any benefit, and the soil is seldom dry far below the surface at this season. If the beds were well turned up in the fall, which should always be done at the same time adding any fresh soil or manure required, nothing more will be required but stirring up with a fork, which should be done a few days before planting, to allow the sun to warm the soil. We shall infer that it has been previously decided how the most prominent beds are to be planted, and the requisite number of plants prepared for each, so we have nothing to do but bring the plants out and plant them at once, for the less time pot plants are standing about before planting the better, as in a very short time they get dust dry and the roots suffer.
We mention this from noticing very enthusiastic amateurs taking out a quantity of plants in the morning and leaving a number unplanted until perhaps the next day, and then planting when the pots were dust dry.
M. B. Bateham says, in The Ohio Farmer that the effect of transplanting on the growth and habits of some kinds of vegetation is remarkable, and needs to be better understood by horticulturists. It is peculiarly noticeable in the form and growth of young evergreen trees in the nursery, causing a more stocky and symmetrical habit. Florists also find it of benefit to the form and flowering of many plants. Various vegetables, as lettuce, cabbage and celery, are especially benefited by one or two removals when young. It is, he declares, hardly possible to have the largest and finest heads of lettuce if the plants are allowed to grow without transplanting, even though otherwise well cultivated.
As roses flourish better for an occasional transplanting, and their bloom and foliage is always finer in cultivated than in grassy ground, a biennial lifting of the plant should form a part of their culture.
The process will enable the cultivator to perform the operation of root pruning, often a very important matter with the strong growing kinds. And all who desire their roses to bloom satisfactorily in the autumn, should embrace the opportunity thus offered, to enrich the soil by deep trenching and by well-rotted manure.
Now the best time to transplant or lift and replant roses is when the roses are ready; and they are ready just before their leaves drop in the fall: say about the last week in October, or the early part of November. If proof of this is required, one has only to take up a few roses, two weeks after planting in November, when it will be at once seen that a large quantity of delicate white fibres present themselves. These roots are formed by bottom heat, or to put it in plain words, by what ground heat remains of the past hot summer weather, which is sufficient to establish the roots before winter sets in. From November the heat diminishes, and vegetation becomes less active. Therefore, it is easily seen that if the operation is deferred until late in November, the roots will remain stationary with every probability of their being injured by the winter, for it must be borne in mind that no amount of sun during the winter will have other than bad effect on roses planted after the time here specified. They may, and probably would survive the winter, and the buds start in spring; but as there will be a -deficiency of fibrous roots, the plants will suffer accordingly.
Therefore plant early in November, unless the plants have been grown in the greenhouse in pots all summer; in that case better defer the planting until spring. Plants grown in pots, although smaller, are generally more desirable than those* grown and taken from the open ground.
Before leaving the subject, it will be desirable to point again to the fact, that to have roses in anything like perfection, they, require liberal cultivation. They must have a compost of a substantial character; and in practice nothing has been found better than good, rich loam rather close in texture, and well-rotted barnyard manure.