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.
Beds or borders where verbenas have been growing this season, if covered slightly with straw at the close of the season, and left until the spring vegetation is strong, will be found with qualities of young verbena plants, a part of which can be removed, and the rest will grow and supply blooms almost as early as plants taken from the green-house. In this way, while you may not have all superior flowers, yet if the plants this season are of good varieties, the chances are that a large proportion of the seedlings will be good. Portulacca and Annual Phlox beds managed in the same way also supply an abundance of plants free of cost, so that the poorest person who has six feet of flower-bed around his house need never be without flowers in summer to educate and refine the tastes of his children and contribute to his own enjoyment.
The Lydia Grape, Mr Elliott writes us he has examined this season in Professor Kirtland's grounds with even larger bunches and berries and more compact than it has ever been figured. The vine, he says, stands in a piece of ground that has been highly manured, and hence the evidence is that the variety needs a rich soil to bring out its excellence.
The Miles Grape, which our valued friend Charles Downing has spoken of as a fine early sort, one of our correspondents writes us does not color up any earlier than the Hartford, and is not ripe as soon, while the fruit being small and the bunch short, it will not readily sell in market.
Green-houses should be kept as cool as may be consistent with retaining the plants in bloom. Many houses are ruined for the winter by too strong heat in the first of the season.
Hardy Perpetual Hoses are benefited by transplanting this fall, even if returned to the same bed. Take them up, prune tops and roots, dig the ground deep, placing a good layer of half-rotted manure or old turfs at bottom, and replant; then cover the surface two or three inches with well-rotted compost or manure.
A very popular apple at the West is Utter's Large Red, in size larger than medium, a constant and prolific bearer, hardy, and quality first-rate; season from November to March. If any of your Eastern pomologists wish to test the variety, I will send cions next winter. T. D. P.
Hoses for window blooming should be potted in good rich soil, cut back freely, then kept in cool frames for a time before bringing into the room for winter.
Hyacinths for winter blooming should now be potted.
Camellias require to be syringed occasionally in good weather and the soil top-dressed. -Raspberries, Blackberries, Dwarf Pears, and other plants or trees with small surface-roots, should have the earth turned up toward them in the autumn. A light one-horse plow, taking first a shallow furrow and turning it toward the trees, then making the next furrow deeper, and so on deepening as we extend the distance from the tree, we have found a good practice. Where the raspberries have to be covered for the winter, it is requisite to first bend them down and confine them by a spadeful of earth. It is rapidly done, and pays pecuniarily in the crop next season.
Clean up the lawn and roads, paths, etc., this month, raking and gathering the leaves into a heap for use in forming hotbeds next spring. Rake and roll the walks so that they present a neat, firm, and clean appearance.
Hardy Shrubs may be pruned this month, and especially should all dry or dead branches be pruned out, so as to give a neat, clean appearance during winter. Top-dress with good rotten compost, and dig it in lightly with the spading-fork.
Pits or Frames for winter stowing of plants should be ready. Make them two to three feet deep, and when they are well drained, place the pots in leaf-mold from the woods, give air freely and shade from hot sun; when severe weather sets in, have ready a quantity of straw, old hay, etc., for spreading over the sash.