An excellent root crop which will grow on almost any soil, although it prefers a deep, rich sandy loam. The only kinds which will succeed on a heavy soil are the short-rooted varieties. They do not like fresh manure, although a layer of well-decayed manure may with safety be worked into the bottom spit of soil before sowing.
The main crop of carrots should be sown in the middle of March to the end of April, in drills 9-12 inches apart and inch deep. When the seedlings are large enough to handle they should be thinned to 2 inches apart, and later from 4 to 6 inches apart. This crop may be pulled in autumn. When this is done the leaves should be cut off to within half an inch of the top, and the roots stored in a dry place in dry earth or sand.
A supply of tender plants may be had by sowing in July or August in open frames, covering with the lights when the frosts appear. These will be ready in late autumn and winter. An application of £-1 ounce sulphate of potash per square yard of soil will be greatly appreciated by these plants.
Some varieties may also be forced in a hotbed. Grown in this way, an early crop is ensured. Early crops may also be sown at the beginning of March in protected beds or borders. When sown for this purpose dry weather is essential, as heavy rains will delay germination, and will probably wash the seed away.
A light dressing of soot given at frequent intervals during the early part of the summer, will greatly assist healthy growth, and will help to keep away fly pests, which plague the carrots.
Some of the best varieties or the amateurs garden are: Fou FORCING;
Early Parisian. French Horn.
FOR COLD FRAMES AND PROTECTED BORDERS: French Horn. Early Nantes. FOR MAIN CROPS: James1 Scarlet Intermediate.
Early Gem. Champion Scarlet Horn.
Cauliflower. This is an excellent green crop and will grow successfully if its simple but necessary needs are attended to. The soil should be deeply dug, with plenty of manure worked into it. These plants absorb vast quantities of plant food and like plenty of moisture.
For early spring supplies, sowing should take place from the last week in August to the first week in October, taking the later date for the southern districts.
For this a bed of light, rich soil should be prepared. Sow broadcast, covering the 6eed lightly with sifted soil. Tread the soil firm and water well, and until the seedlings are well established, shade from the midday sun.
At the approach of winter a raised bed should be prepared in a sheltered situation. This should be from 6-9 inches above the general level, in order to prevent excessive damp killing off the plants. The seedlings should be set 3 inches apart. During severe weather the plants should be covered by a frame, but they should at all costs be kept as hardy as possible.
For summer supplies seeds are sown on a hotbed in February and March. Supplies are also obtainable in the autumn, these being provided for by plants raised in frames in April. When planting, the rows should be 2 feet apart, and the plants set the same distance apart. Planting out must take place in showery weather. If, however, the weather is dry, planting must be accompanied by a good watering.
When a head shows, a large leaf should be broken over it. This will keep the head quite white and clean. As soon as the plants are ready they should be cut. If they are left too long, the heads will become loose and will loso some of their flavour when cooked. They should also be cut in the early morning while the dew is still on them, and on no account must they be cut while there is a hot sun.
Some of the best varieties are: Snowball, for early supplies.
Early Dicarf Erfurt for early summer.
Veitches Autumn Qiant for autumn use.
Walcheren for late summer and autumn.
Early London for early summer.
Autumn Mammoth for autumn use.