in War by E. ). KING, M.A., F.R.H.S.
THERE is one matter which should
at once be brought again to the notice of vine growers, namely that if the pruning of indoor vines in cold houses is not completed in doublequick time the cut ends will bleed considerably. Unless you have actually seen a vine bleed, it is hard to
realise how much truth there is in the statement that it " drips like a tap." Much harm is done to a crop which is very valuable as containing tine natural sugars for both Samsons and invalids. Outdoor vines should also have their pruning finished.
And don't forget that the border of a cold house (and still better, of a cool house) is a good place at this time of year for the sow ing of some early vegetable crops. I am of course referring to establishments where the border is prepared inside and not outside the house. If the border has not been recently manured, a sowing of shorthorn carrots will yield an early and excellent crop. It is true that there is almost a surfeit of carrots just now ; but you can't have too much of a good thing, and in any case I suspect that the success which attends the propaganda of the Ministry of Food will ensure that the surplus of carrots will have been put to good use before the time when your shorthorns will be ready. These small carrots are often sown too thickly—a sad mistake. Sow thinly. They should also be thinned as soon as the globe-like roots arc of a respectable cooking size.
But in such a border as I have just mentioned, the presence of rich manure will ruin your chances with carrots or any roots. Instead, you can give yourself a treat by sowing lettuces of the cabbage type. Continuity is a splendid all-round sort; the leaves on the outer part of the plant have a fine brownish tinge when grown outside, but under glass they are of the freshest green. In any case, brown or not, the
plant is most succulent and delicious. If you have a little warmth an early crop of lettuces is most profitable. Your surplus will pay for all your seeds and manure, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing your efforts have provided the nation with a splendid health-builder and protector.
In moderate warmth dwarf French beans may be sown. The Prince is a good, moderate grower with a stupendous crop of firstclass pods. Golden Wonder is an epicure's favourite we could all grow to perfection in a little warmth. Dwarf early peas are good in such a greenhouse, and don't require as high a temperature as the dwarf beans like.
The Ministry of Agriculture draws attention to the need for growing more outdoor beans for drying and storing. You don't do anything about it now. except, of course, to get the seed, which you should do at once. The best types arc Dutch Brown (brown seeds) and Comtesse de Chambord (white). These are primarily crops for the southern and eastern parts of England, but have been successful elsewhere. They are of easy cultivation, and I can recommend the venture.
CROPS TO STORE We are officially advise' to grow crops (in addition to maintaining a supply of fresh vegetables from the garden in each month of the year) which can be lifted and stored. Bear this in mind in procuring this year's seeds. Though there has been an abundance of carrots this winter, we are none the less recommended to make sure of plenty of our own. Don't forget that onions store well also when ripened, and
beet keeps for ages in sand. French and runner beans can be easily preserved in salt in earthenware jars and basins. Celeriac is as easily grown as celery and can be
stored like beet in sand ; it has the celery flavour and celery virtues.
Leeks, swedes and some turnips can be left out in the open ground, so to some degree they can be counted as store plants. And readers must forgive me for again advocating the shallot—a vegetable eminently suitable for home production. This is easily stored. To get a good crop for lifting in July you should make a planting as soon as you can (and certainly not later than March) when you have a plot in working order.