NOW is the time to draw up a cropping plan for the vegetable garden. Bearing in mind the importance of rotating your crops, though onions, if they do well in one particular piece of ground, are far better sown there again the following year. The wise gardener keeps a diary and notes which vegetables do best in which plots in succeeding years. Spinach should he sown in a shady spot; otherwise it tends to bolt.
Digging should be carried on with whenever the weather is at all possible. Old ground should be turned up as soon as it becomes available, and the manure worked in.
Rhubarb roots can be lifted (with plenty of soil round them) and left outside for a few days, then put into a dark shed or dark corner of the greenhouse. The surrounding soil should be kept moist.
Mint and chive roots—if not already brought indoors—can be lifted, put into boxes of soil, kept in a moderately warm atmosphere, and forced for early use. Mustard and cress, too, can be grown indoors or in a greenhouse. Sow the cress a week before the mustard as it takes longer to germinate.
Any broad beans sown before Christmas should be earthed round as a protection against severe weather, In sheltered plots in the South further sowings can be made. Spring cabbage, too, should be protected by having earth drawn up round the stems.—J. H.