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! HINTS FOR ALLOTMEINI HOLDERS.

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Rhannu

HINTS FOR ALLOTMEINI HOLDERS. By SPADE-WORKEft. PREPARING FOR SPRING. Tidiness pays on the allotment. If do I cayed leaves, old stems of sprouts, broccoli c cauliflower, or other "greens," decayed potatoes, carrots, and turnips are allowet; to lie about the plot they afford excellent shelter for slugs and snails and other soil pests which are the abomination of the ailotinent-holder. All such material shoxil-d be gathered together, a much as possiblt being burnt, the remainder being placed in a heap and sprinkled occasionally with lime and soot to hasten the process of decay and to get rid of pests. If all weeds are pulled up and, together with any turf trimmings and road-scrapings, are placed on the rub- bish lieap, there will be a tidy and cleanly allotment and a store of good material is spring. KILLING SOIL PESTS. Those who would have sound and satis- factory root crops must rid their soil of pe-ts, particularly such as wireworm, milli- pede, and leather-jacket, to say nothing of olugs and snails, for these play havoc with potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and other vege-j tables of which the edible portion grows be- neath the soil- If the land has not been limed for three or four years, and if it ia j of a heavy, clayey nature, nothing will do so mucH good as an application of lime, from half to one bushel per rod. A good soil insecticide can be made at home by using the following iiigredients: lib. of' naphthaline with 281b. of lime. Apply this at the rate of ilib. per square yard. Spread it on the surface and fork it in. I GREEN MANURING. Some time ago readers of this column were advised to follow tiie practice of "green manuring" on any land that was; vacant and would not be required until spring If seed was sown about September of such, crops as mustard and turnip, the plants may now be dug into the soil They will make little or no further growth, and the sooi;er they are dug into the ground the better, for they will then be well-decayed by soring, when the time comes to plant and sow. ASPARAGUS ON ALLOTMENTS. "'] Although the worker on a war-time plot dees not, as a general rule, possess a. Led of asp.:ra^us. on older-established allotments somo fine produce is often forthcoming. It is one of those crops that well repays de- tailed attention, and there is work to be done en the beds now. The foliage when fully ripe should be cut down to the ground level, and special care must be taken in the removal of berry-bearing branches. One often reads that asparagus teds derive bene- fit from an application of agricultural salt at this season of the year, but one does not Bett how this works out in actual practice, because everyone knows that salt lowers the temperature of the soil. It might possibly benefit very light soils, but even in extreme cases many greatly prefer giving salfc ia March and April. PRIZEWINNING HINTS. A. useful and practical hint is sent 6y Mr. R. Ross (to whom a prize of "Garden Work for Every Day" is awarded). This correspondent writes that last spring cab- bage plants were difficult to get, the severe winter having destroyed a large number. Anyone possessing young plants of spring cabbage, which they are afraid may b. killed during severe weather, should protect them in the following way:— Protecting Spring Cabbage. i Dig a trench all round the cabbage plot and throw it up in the form of a ridge, as shown in the accompanying sketch. Such a measure of protection is useful also for bru^sels sprouts and other winter greens. If the cabbage plants are still rather closely planted together, and thus occupying little «pace. it will be of advantage if a glass "light is placed over tiiem. Oi & pea-sticks give considerable shelter. CHRISTMAS DRUMHEAD CABBAGE. The bed that takes the eye of many just now is a bed of Christmas drumhead cab- bage, resulting from a July sowing. The seeds were sown very thinly, and instead of practising transplanting in the ordinary way they were simply thinned out, being left 15 inches apart in rows. By allowing these plants to grow on without the check usually occasioned by transplanting, they have made remarkable progress, but they have derived considerable assi6tance from the free use of the hoe between them. PLANTING SHALLOTS. I suppose that by now most allotment- holders are acquainted with the old saying that "shallots should be planted on the shortest day and taken up on the longest day." It is, of course, not necessary to follow that advice literally, for shallots can be planted at any time between now and the end of February. Still, there is an ad- vantage in getting crops in the ground at I the earliest suitable time, and those who who have a patch of soil in "good heart"— that is to say, which has been manured and well-cultivated—might do worse than plant shallots. Autumn planting is chiefly ad- visable on light soil. Simply press in the bulbs until they are half covered, arranging them at 6in. apart in rows Sin. from each other. PRIZE COMPETITION FOR ALLOT- MENT HOLDERS. Every week two prizes are onered for the best allotment hint or recipe. The prizes consist of useful gardening books. All en- tries for this competition must be addressed "Spade worker," care of Editor of this paper.. ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS. S. A. J.—Calcium carbide is a form of lime; it has some value when applied to vacant land, and helps ako to get rid of soil pests. It may be applied now at the rate of 101b. to the rod. A disadvantage is that it does not break up easily. F. M. W.—There j" nothing better than ridging up the soil for the winter to help in the destruction of j est;. First dig across the plot, placing the soil immediately cu your left; then dig back the other way, again placing the soil on your left; thue, you maJce two trenches and one ridge. Nemo.—I would cerl;.1 in!■ a. ;vifr-e. you to sow broad beans row, as your laud is light and the crop has not been a success from spring sowing. "Spadeworker" is open to give practical advice, free of charge, to readers of this paper. Replies will be sent by poet if a stamped addressed envelope is enclosed. Address your inquiries to "Spadeworker," eare of Editor. -r- _I-.

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Aberystwyth Rural Council

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