In the Vegetable garden the chief duty is to prepare for the coming spring. When the ground is frozen hard wheel out manure, secure stakes, and prepare pea-sticks.
During favourable weather trench or dig vacant plots, mend walks, dispose of refuse either by burning or burying in trenches, and make warm borders light and rich in readiness for seeds.
Earth up Peas and Beans sown last month; if the plant has been pinched by inclement weather, or injured by vermin, sow again without repining. Finish the earthing up of Celery, and protect with dry litter. Blanch Chicory and Endive as required. Plant Underground Onions.
Examine the root store, remove those which show signs of decay, and break off top growth. Dress beds of autumn sown Onions with wood ashes. Put a frame over Parsley. Sow Radish in a sheltered frame.
Flowers are more easily forced now than a month ago. Follow the routine treatment advised under November. Continue the forcing of Lily of the Valley and Tuberoses. Keep all plants free from insect pests. Cleanse pots, and prepare plenty of soil for potting in the new year. Start Gloxinias for blooming in March.
The long dark evenings afford opportunity of reviewing the affairs of the garden. Wants that have been noted and mistakes that have been made are now fresh in the memory. The order of cropping in the Vegetable garden can be arranged, and new combinations of Flowers designed for beds and groups in borders. Sorts that have done well or ill afford guidance for making out the list of Vegetable and Flower seeds that must shortly be despatched. This task is often unwisely delayed, to the dismay of the gardener when sowing day arrives, and the subsequent inconvenience of the household. Novelties too must have trial. The labours of skilled hybridists annually result in improvements which horticulturists cannot afford to ignore.
The finest new varieties in Flowers and Vegetables and all the old favourites are described in Sutton’s Amateur’s Guide, which is published annually before Christmas.
The favour of a line from customers who fail to receive a catalogue at the usual time will be greatly esteemed. A copy will gladly be sent to any friend of customers on receipt of name and address.
1. Queen Alexandra born, 1844.
2. Full Moon, 6.21 p.m.
10. Grouse and Black Game shooting ends. Last Quarter, 11.32 a.m.
17. New Moon, 2.35 a.m.
21. St. Thomas’ Day. Election of Common Councilmen in the City of London.
22. Shortest Day. Winter commences 4.24 p.m.
24. First Quarter, 8.25 a.m.
25. Christmas Day.
26. Bank Holiday.
31. Various Licences expire.
Barometer, 29.779 in. Temperature, 39.7 deg. Fahr.
Rainfall, 1.90 in. Rainfall for December 1914……………………
So what have you thought of the My Garden Diary entries from 100 years ago?