Monday, May 5, 2014

Gardening In May

From The Kitchen and Fruit Gardener 1847


Let all the coverings that may have been used to protect either winter or early spring crops, be now cleared away. Rough dig all vacant ground, and hoe and rake all the small borders. Use the hoe freely amongst crops of onions, spinach, &c. Destroy all weeds as they appear. Have all roots, docks, dandelions, and similar weeds, carefully dug up with a fork, and immediately removed from the garden. Be careful to destroy all snails and slugs.

After a shower of rain, draw the earth up to the stems of cabbages and cauliflower plants. Birds being very destructive to the seeds of all the cabbage tribe, it will therefore be necessary to guard them by covering the beds with mats, or with old fishing nets, until the seeds begin to vegetate.

Sow and plant all sorts of cabbages, and earth and clear from weeds the crops already planted. Take advantage of dry weather to stir the surface about the stems of all the forward crops of cabbages, by which they will be greatly strengthened. Sow full crops of savoys both at the beginning and end of the month.

Peas should be sown twice this month, or in succession, as the previous sowing appears above ground. Beans likewise, at similar intervals of time, when frequent crops are required. Of the dwarf kidney or bush beans, there are many varieties; among the better and more productive kinds, are the red and brown valentine, and China red eye.

The Lima and the Carolina, or Servee beans, may now be planted.

Rhubarb may be sown or planted. The large giant rhubarb is the most productive in the open ground, and Buck's scarlet for forcing.

Carrots should now be sown, - the long orange and the early horn, are the finest for table use. A full crop of parsneps should also be sown.

The celery plants which were sown in March or April, for an early crop, should be pricked out about the middle or latter end of this month, into a nursery bed of rich light earth.

Plant the main crop of potatos. This is the best month in the year for the purpose. Sets should now be used, cut to two or three eyes only.

Continue to sow and transplant lettuces of all sorts. Sow each sort separately, and repeat the sowings and plantings once every fortnight or three weeks, that a regular supply may be obtained. Sow radishes of different sorts every week during the summer. Give plenty of water in dry weather: if this be not attended to, they will be hard, and unfit for use. Thin the crops already sown.

Peppers or capsicums, and tomatos, may be sown for transplanting; cucumbers, squashes, nasturtiums, and other tender vegetables, may now be safely planted. All pot herbs such as thyme, sage, mint, balm, &c., should now be planted.

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