in War by E. J. KING, M.A., F.R.H.S.
OUNG cauliflowers from August sowings now passing the winter in frames should be occasionally looked over. Though they are not perfectly hardy during a had winter, they are sufficiently protected as a rule if a sack or some straw is put over the frame. By the way, let it be said in favour of
cauliflowers as against cabbages for summer crops, that the cauliflower provides both an exquisite " curd " of flowers and also nutritious outside leaves. Those leaves, so often wasted, contain rich vitamins and are good either eaten as cabbage or embodied in a soup or stew. The Ministry of Agriculture wants 10 see 1,000 more acres
planted with cauliflowers. Moreover, by growing cauliflowers in succession in your own garden you save more money than by growing cabbages exclusively, which are usually cheap to buy.
Young spring cabbages, though their leaves droop dejectedly when there is frost, seem to be quite robust. Stirring up the top soil on suitable days helps to relieve them of surplus moisture, and increases their chances of survival. Keep some in the reserve bed, however, as previously advised, for replacing casualties if necessary.
Kale and the late kinds of sprouting broccoli should not be eaten yet, while there are late savoys and Brussels sprouts in abundance. The lean time of all the year is between and including March and May. Let the hardier and later standbys be reserved till then.
THE GREENHOUSE In war-time the greenhouse. so far from being an extravagance, is an investment. Mind you. I am not recommending the purchase of these things if you haven't got one. For example, glass is not safe for long where I live. But if you have got one, and especially one which you can heat, you are a lucky man.
Where a temperature of 60 degrees can be maintained, this is an ideal time for sowing tomatoes of a good standard kind for early yielding. Not only will these be a valuable food, but they will fetch an especially good price this year, owing to the absence of competition from the Canaries, Spain and Jersey. Tomato seeds germinate very readily, and given anything like decent treatment (e.g., absence of overcrowding and excessive damp), they will come along without any trouble. They just want to keep growing. I am not referring here to tomatoes for outside planting, or for green.
houses which are quite unheated. These are sown much later. I will tell you in good time.
For the greenhouse, Lou, a wholesome (and profitable) crop is early lettuces. A sowing of a Tom Thumb type or of Continuity or All the Year Round tall cabbage lettuces) will succeed. Lettuces grown in this way are particularly luscious.
OUTSIDE AGAIN Jerusalem artichokes taken up at the end of the year can now he put out again if there is a site prepared for them. Roots which were left outside in the ground will not come to any harm, but they should be moved so that the ground may be dug and manured for another crop. Artichoke tubers weighing about one ounce should be planted about fifteen inches apart in rows three feet apart. If they look a bit shrivelled through storage. that is a minor matter. They soon fatten out. Planting should not he long delayed, as growth soon starts. Bury the tubers six inches deep.
Very large and sound onion bulbs specially selected may now, or very soon, be planted out again about a foot apart in rich soil for seed saving. They will yield their seed in autumn. Similarly, carrot seed may be obtained, but the soil should not be richly rnanured for carrot planting.
These operations, of course, can only be
undertaken when the soil is suitable. If there is a crust of frozen earth when you are digging, this should in no circumstances be buried. Burying iced-up earth may delay your garden's progress by many weeks, for buried ice takes a very long time indeed to thaw.